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The Power of Gratitude

Gratitude can change your life.

No kidding. A daily practice of writing down even three things you are grateful for will significantly change your life in many ways. In fact, research shows that people who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel less anxiety, respond to stress more calmly, sleep better, are more compassionate and even have stronger immune systems.

That translates to better self-care, right? It’s one of the most simple yet highly effective self-care practices.

And not only will it change your life, it changes the lives of those around you. Because just think about what would happen in your home or your office if you were sleeping better, feeling better and treating others more compassionately? And, expressing your gratitude to them and for them, helping them to create their own gratitude practice.  It has a positive, cumulative effect on everyone you spend time with.

There are a couple of easy ways to incorporate gratitude in your life each day.

  • Gratitude journaling – taking a few moments at the start or end of each day to write down 3-5 things you are grateful for.
  • A round-robin gratitude statement while making or eating dinner.
  • Reflecting on or talking about the best things that happened during the day when you get home from work or school.
  • Writing down one thing you are grateful for in a note, text or on a chalkboard where you and/or someone special in your life can see it every day.

Ready to begin or re-start a regular gratitude practice?

Figure out the best way for you to express your gratitude and begin right now as you are reading this. If you think you’ll have trouble remembering to practice gratitude statements daily, set yourself a little alarm or create a calendar event with reminder in your smart phone. Or tie it to something you do regularly every single day, like brushing your teeth or making coffee. Commit to 30 days of expressing gratitude daily and then reflect on the changes.

If you’re willing, take a few moments to come back to the blog or Facebook post and comment how this experience felt to you. Or if you’re a regular practitioner, just leave a comment about how gratitude has changed your life or the lives of those around you.

Today, I am particularly grateful for all of you who have messaged me, shared, commented, texted and otherwise expressed your happiness with these #SummerofSelfCare2017 posts. It means so much that it’s helping you. And I’m grateful to the coach who first introduced me to self care many years ago – Cheryl Richardson. Her book The Art of Extreme Self-Care is amazing and beautiful to look at too.

There are lots of ways to express gratitude.

On day one, I shared my belief that when we’re in crisis or depleted of energy from our “busyness”, we tend to be reactive rather than responsive. When we create personal energetic reserves, they help us feel as though we are connected to a place of balance and control. And creating personal energetic reserves is the best way to practice self care. 

Your daily habits can be whatever you want them to be and you don’t absolutely have to do each one every day. In fact, at first, it may be hard to fit them all in. And these habits don’t have to be time consuming.

Here’s a gift of self care you can give yourself every week, month or for a few hours whenever you need it most. A Tech Free Day can be one of the slowest and most peaceful days you’ve spent in a long while.

Reading all day makes the day go by very slowly. And, even if you are an avid reader, when was the last time you read a book outside? We get busy and forget that joy of reading a good book or magazine by the lake, in the backyard under a tree, in a rocking chair on the front porch or….you get the hint.

Today is the day for you to make a few lists that contain 7 things each. Things that belong to you – not to someone else in your family. Don’t “should on yourself” either. 

Dance Break Day 6 of our Sumer of Self Care involves doing a little dancing. Are you game? Have you ever watched someone dance for fun, even if just for a few seconds, and laughed out loud? In any given day, at least one video of someone dancing pops across my social media feed and […]

Now that we have taken a few moments to look at how and when to say no, today we will look at what makes you say, “HECK YES!!!”  Because taking a look at your Absolute Yes List helps you remember what to say no to.

When we say yes more often than we mean to, out of a sense of obligation or feeling coerced, we find ourselves doing things that carry resentment or even downright anger. And the anger isn’t usually directed solely at the person we said yes to. More often than not, our anger is felt internally – directed straight to our own heart – because we failed to say no. And that takes a toll on our ability to love ourselves and to express self care.

These tolerations subconsciously and consciously drain our energy, make us feel tense and sometimes even engage us in a conversation of self-blame and frustration. “Why can’t I just take the time to paint that floor?” Or “I will get to that soon or I will scream!!!” They block us from feeling good about what we have or bringing in new opportunities. If we have too much physical and mental clutter, we don’t have room to love ourselves and love the space we are in.

Sometimes we feel the heaviness of things that are happening around us. Or carrying tension in our neck and shoulders. We work at a desk and when things get hectic, we tense up without even realizing.