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Cultivate Gratitude During Challenging Time

Whew, these past 10 months have been short of a freak show.

I know I'm not alone when I say, its been a roller coaster of emotions, ranging from WTF ( what the ****) to simply

thankful. However, lately I've had to tap into my tool box to shift my thinking and cultivate gratitude. To beat the battle of somberness , I knew had to begin feeling grateful for all that is.

If you are finding it challenging to feel grateful during these times, let's consider thinking that gratitude is an emotion that you can choose at anytime. There’s science behind the benefits of practicing gratitude. For example, a UC Davis study found that teenagers that practice gratitude are less likely to be depressed and have higher grade averages and do well socially.

There are other studies that report that adults that practice gratitude daily have had a shift in their mood and lower stress levels. A 2013 study found that grateful people feel fewer physical aliments compared to those that have a negative and unappreciative attitude about life.

There are many benefits to practicing gratitude, here are a few:

  • Reduces symptoms of depression

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Improves sleep

  • Increases long-term happiness

  • Reduces envy

  • Increases life-satisfaction

  • Makes us more optimistic

  • Improves decision-making

  • Improves and strengthens romantic, platonic and familial relationships

  • Strengthens feelings of work fulfillment

Here are my top 5 ways you can cultivate gratitude:

  1. Develop a daily meditation practice to create a state of gratitude.

  2. Keep a gratitude journal. My go to journal is Let That S*** Go by Monica Sweeney Sometimes when I don't have time to write in my journal, I type a quick note of gratitude in the note app on my phone.

  3. Take time outdoors. Take time to appreciate mother nature and all of it miraculous beauty. Observe all its sounds, its natural activity and breath in the fresh air.

  4. As soon as you awake, think about something or someone you’re thankful for.

  5. Take time to reflect on lessons you can take away from stressful situations by asking, "What is this teaching me?" then saying, "Thank you for the lesson."

One of my favorite badass gratitude journal is "Let That S*** Go". If you have a great sense of humor and want to laugh and smile will embarking on your gratitude this journal is a great start. Her journal prompts funny, engaging and relatable to the modern woman.

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