Life is good. Life is a blessing.
Sometimes, though, it doesn’t feel so much like a blessing as it does a really long challenge.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in all the little annoyances and the big challenges and forget to look for the blessings.
How can we get past those little annoyances and manage our way through our challenges so we can see the blessings of our lives?
Here are some of the things that have worked for me:
A Gratitude Journal
It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t even have to be a journal, though it’s nice sometimes, when life is hard, to be able to look back through the gratitude journal and be reminded of the things we are thankful for.
You can use a notebook. You can use a fancy journal. You can write it on sticky noes and put them on the bathroom mirror or the refrigerator door. You can write it on your white board. The key here is to develop a daily habit of writing down something you are thankful for. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be grand. It could be as simple as there being enough milk for your cereal, or hitting all the traffic lights on green so you made it to work on time.
Do Something Nice
Service is good. When we serve someone, it helps put our problems into perspective. If we can lighten someone else’s load, it means our life must be not so bad, right? Service doesn’t have to be a big deal. It could be serving at a soup kitchen or donating blood. It could also be holding the door for the person behind you, brining someone’s papers off the copier, sharing the cookies from your lunch, or just lending a listening ear.
I know. It’s too easy, right? I promise, if you choose to put on a smile and share a happy expression with the world, after a while, you’ll start to feel better. And you might even see a few people start smiling back.
Say Thank You
Notice when someone does something nice for you. Thank them, whether it’s for serving up your bagel at the bakery, or for a kind word or a compliment. Develop the habit of expressing gratitude to others for even the simplest of kindnesses. As we learn to express gratitude to others, we also develop the ability to express gratitude to ourselves.
Along with that expressing gratitude, ease up on yourself. Stop beating yourself up for every perceived imperfection. Because, frankly, most of your imperfections are perceived—and only by you. Nobody’s perfect—and nobody expects you to be. So, stop it. Give yourself a break. You’re a pretty talented and awesome person, and you need to start recognizing that and giving yourself credit for the efforts.
I won’t kid you. Some days this is hard. Sometimes life throws really tough stuff at us. But if you have developed the habit of acting life your life is a blessing, of storing up some gratitude, you can still make your life feel like the blessing It is.
What are some of the things you do to make your life feel like a blessing? Share your thoughts below.