Posts Tagged ‘The Gratitude Diaries’

Today is National Positive Thinking Day. 2020 has been a doozy of a year, and it just keeps on giving and not in the most positive ways, so we could all stand to benefit from a bit of optimism. According to an article on optimism in Psychology Today, “Research shows that, on average, human beings are hardwired to be more optimistic than not.” Optimism significantly improves experiences, especially unfamiliar ones.

I consider myself an optimistic person which is not to say that I have never experienced the doldrums. However, I actively seek out opportunities or implement routines centered around positivity. Thinking positively helps me persevere during the rough patches that spring up from time to time.

Here are a few ways I cultivate positive thinking in my life.

Develop a Gratitude Attitude

Gratitude JournalPracticing gratitude or exhibiting a gratitude attitude is a terrific place to start with implementing more positivity in your life. It is quite difficult to be pessimistic and grateful at the same time. Keeping a gratitude journal and listing 3-5 items daily is a wonderful way to reframe a “bad day” since focusing on the good as opposed to the bad makes for a happier outlook. The majority of items that I list in my gratitude journal do not always reflect major experiences from the day. Many days I am grateful for the ordinary, the mundane, or things we take for granted. Hot showers, ketchup, the sound of birds on a morning walk, and a smile from a stranger while he/she holds the door open for you at the post office are all reasons to celebrate a feeling of gratitude.

During the summer, I started listening to The Gratitude Diaries podcast hosted by Janice Kaplan. Kaplan spent a year exploring gratitude and eventually wrote a book about her experience. Her podcast episodes are short (5-7 minutes) and air every weekday with a range of topics and useful tips that will help you start your day with a gratitude attitude. Being grateful equals feeling happier and more positive.

Daddy Nail GunExpress your gratitude towards others. It could be as simple as a verbal thank you, a note of gratitude, a small token of appreciation, or springing for lunch or dinner. Expressing thankfulness through words or actions is a positive gamechanger for both you and the recipient of the gratitude. My Daddy came over yesterday and helped my hubby install crown moulding in the entryway of my house. I always appreciate my Daddy (and my hubby) and his talents, and I make sure he feels that appreciation. Since the crown moulding has been installed, the bookcase that my hubby built for me will be put in the entryway, providing me with more shelf space for my large book collection.

Monitor Your Thoughts

Reframing your thoughts about a situation can lead to a more positive outlook. Sometimes life gets hectic whether at work or at home, and the demands during that period get overwhelming. Burnout, negativity, and a feeling of helplessness can creep in easily. If I am not careful, I am susceptible to falling prey to the negativity demon; however, I now view these times as a “season of sacrifice.” This point in time is temporary, and there is eventually a light at the end of the tunnel. Generally, I mark the ending date of my all-consuming task on my calendar to give me some clarity. If the season of sacrifice is at work, I may give myself permission to lower the bar at home. Taking pressure off of myself in another area of my life keeps me on track to complete whatever needs my immediate attention at the time. I may have to say no to some things to allow time to recharge my mental batteries.

Right now, we are experiencing a global season of sacrifice. My hubby and I have not been to a movie theatre since 26 January when we went to see Doolittle. Today, we are going to see Tenet, and I’m over the moon. Yes, we have to wear a mask, but I don’t care. It is a small sacrifice to make in order to experience an activity that I enjoy immensely. Having a type of entertainment to look forward to is a huge happiness boost and keeps dullness at bay.

Don’t catastrophize! Instead, embrace the unknown. Try to focus on the unexpected blessings that show up along the way. While the pandemic had us sheltering in place for longer than we could ever imagine, it also gave us an opportunity to evaluate the aspects of our life that are really important and valuable, such as relationships, while allowing us to slow down to notice the wonders of nature or rekindle an appreciation for being at home.  I started walking again and haven’t missed a day, yet. I love walking outside. Sometimes, I listen to a podcast or music, and other times I listen to the natural sounds surrounding me. I always feel happier and hopeful after a walk.

Imagine the Possibilities

Engage in activities that will allow you to think more positively. Here are a few examples of activities that make me happier.

  • Develop a spiritual or religious practice.
  • Develop a self-care routine that makes you feel physically and mentally strong.
  • Read books, watch programs/films, or listen to podcasts about happiness and positivity.
  • Do a nice gesture for someone.
  • Cultivate relationships with optimistic people.
  • Explore nature.
  • Create something!

Life is short, dear reader. Yet, we can choose how we live that life. Even though today has been declared National Positive Thinking Day, we can live positively every day. So, how do you choose to think? I would love for you to share your thoughts and any tips you have for thinking positively. Happiness!

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ~ Winston Churchill

Kat in Kentucky

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Just when you think that 2020 can’t get any worse, Mother Nature decides to send not just one hurricane to Louisiana, but two. What the heck! The school I work at has only been in session since 05 August, and we face being shut down for an entire week to weather the storms. Marco arrives sometime on Monday followed by Laura on Wednesday. Do you think it’s possible that the storms could take out COVID when it rolls in and out?

On a happier note, a good friend of mine has started a blog. It’s called Kelsi Explains It All. She’ll be writing about her passions which include: the 90s, Halloween, horror movies, cartoons, TV show binge-a-thons, and much more. Her first post features a Halloween movie marathon list that she created, and it includes some helpful links and resources to help other folks create their own marathon lists. I have already subscribed to Kelsi’s blog and plan to use her Halloween movie marathon list starting in the fall. Mwahaha!

For my dear readers who enjoy podcasts, I have two new recommendations.

Desert Island Discs is the first one. Guests are invited to the show as a castaway and choose eight recordings, a book, and a luxury item that they would like to take with them on a desert island. While discussing their lives with the host, a snippet of each recording is played and the guests explain the reason it was chosen. Before the guests are cast off to the imaginary island, they are given the Complete Works of Shakespeare, the Bible (or other religious/philosophical work), name their luxury item, and indicate one of the eight songs they would save above all if the discs are swept off the island. I’ve absolutely enjoyed learning about the guests and listening to some terrific music. I’ve even added some new tunes to my playlist.

The Gratitude Diaries is the second one. The host, Janice Kaplan, provides practical tips on how to add more gratitude to your daily life. She touches on gratitude in every aspect of your life. I find listening to this podcast on my way to work helps me to get in the right mindset to tackle whatever craziness will happen that day. School life amidst a pandemic is difficult even on a good day, so having a little pep talk about facets of your life that you can be grateful for prior to facing the day helps immensely.

Even though all of my plans have been cancelled in 2020, I will soon be embarking on an unexpected adventure with my Daddy in a couple of weeks (unless the two storms interfere). He asked me to drive him to Kentucky to see his older brother. He has been wanting to visit my Uncle Manuel for quite some time, and with my uncle’s wife passing away a few weeks ago, his desire to visit has become more urgent. Therefore, on 03 September, our journey to the Bluegrass State will begin. I’m sure the road trip will be exciting, albeit terrifying and arduous at times; however, I’m up for the challenge (I think).

In Other News:

Good News! My BFF Shelly does NOT have cancer. It has been determined that her damaged heart is the culprit that caused the pleural effusion on her left lung. She is not completely out of the woods and will eventually need to have surgery to repair her heart; however, NO cancer is awesome news, and she is feeling terrific. Sophie’s tail is healing properly, and if she continues to cooperate with her wound care, her tail should be back to normal soon. As for my dental issues, I had my barrier removed this past Monday afternoon. I have been pain-free all week. My next dental appointment is in early November and will likely be the start of the implant process.

Before logging off today, I want to express how grateful I am for all of you, dear readers. The Kat Files: Finding Adventure in Everyday Life has turned 10 years old. I’m in the process of thinking about how I want to celebrate this momentous milestone. A HUGE thank you to everyone who has been on this ride with me. Happiness!

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie.

white house beside grass field

Photo by Brandon Randolph on Pexels.com

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