Well, November crept up on us and the holiday season is rapidly approaching whether we're ready for it or not! (we're getting there, but definitely leaning toward NOT ready!) Although the holidays are our busiest time of the year in retail, we love to take a minute and remind ourselves what they're all about. Gratefulness seems to be a strong theme when the holidays come around, being thankful for your family, your friends, your health, anything. So we want to expand on this theme and make November a month of gratitude! We will be posting weekly on our social media channels something we are grateful for, and we encourage all of our babes to do the same and to keep us accountable!
Living with gratitude has been scientifically proven to have a LOT of benefits! It helps to improve your psychological and physical health, strengthens relationships, helps with sleeping, and improves self esteem! We've rounded up our 5 favorite ways to incorporate gratitude into your everyday life without starting your own journal (which if you search 'gratitude journal' on Pinterest, will give you tons of ideas!) Maybe we will save that for another post, but for now we are starting small.
1. Reverse Bucket List. The most 'list' like way to incorporate gratitude in your life is by writing down your reverse bucket list. In other words, instead of daydreaming of things you would like to do before you die, write down a list of things you've already accomplished! It's so easy to come up with ideas and open up your mind to all the places you wish you could go and see, but a reverse bucket list requires your mind to shift. Your reverse bucket list doesn't have to be a list of grandiose things either, it can be something as simple as "learned to knit" and that's a great accomplishment! By writing down your own personal accomplishments, you can feel gratitude toward these things and look back on with pride! 2 of our biggest accomplishments would be 1) starting our own business and 2) taking a leap of faith and moving to the beach. What would your top 3 accomplishments be on your reverse bucket list?
2. Say Thank You. You may think this seems like such a simple task, but instead of just mumbling a "thanks" at the Starbucks counter, actually mean it! Maybe make some eye contact? Make the effort to sincerely offer a thank you to your coworkers, your significant other, even your grocery bagger. Instead of just saying 'thank you' offer up a reason you're thanking that person such as "thank you, I really appreciate your help" or "thank you for doing that chore that I really hate doing." Your words have such a huge impact on how you feel, wouldn't you rather fill your thoughts with positivity? We will be making the effort to thank someone everyday for the month of November, we hope you will too!
3. Daily Gratitude. Before going to sleep at night, instead of thinking about all the things you have to do the next day, think about everything you are grateful for that happened that day! What was your favorite part of today? Can you make it a conversation with your spouse? Or dinner time chat with the kids? Try to be specific with your answers too! Instead of "I'm grateful for my job" ask yourself why? "I'm grateful for my job that lets me get home to my family every night" or "I'm grateful for the people I get to serve while working" whether that's making them feel beautiful in clothes, repairing a roof, or doing someone's taxes! Little shifts in your mindset like this can make a world of difference on your self esteem and your mental health. Dr. Alia Crum gives a great TED Talk on how your mindset changes all facets of your life and gives some mind blowing studies on this topic! Watch it here to learn more.
4. Enhance your Small Talk. We do it every day with our coworkers, customers, and when meeting new people. How's everything going? How was your weekend? And usually it's a 'good' and then we move on. We're missing a huge opportunity to really connect with people. Let's start asking meaningful questions, and it's not that hard to start! Monday morning instead of "how was your weekend?" ask your coworker "what was the best part about your weekend?" When meeting someone new, instead of asking what they do for a living, ask them "what's something going on that you're excited about?" They don't have to be heavy hit questions like "what are you grateful for?" They can be simple, and you can really get to know someone rather than knowing that their weekend was 'good'. Ask one person this week what they're excited about! See where that conversation takes you.
5. Download an App. Since we're already on our phones so much, why not take up a digital journal or a mindfulness app to help give you a reminder to take a minute every day to feel grateful? There are so many gratitude and mindfulness apps out there now, it's easy to find! Our favorite for guided meditation is Headspace, you can set it to as low as 3 minutes a day if that's all you want to start with. The app is free to start with so many free meditations, or you can upgrade to get even more! Other apps to help you journal or give you inspirational quotes every day are 'Grateful' and '365 Gratitude'. Both of these are free and give you daily prompts for you to think and write down in a journal or just to read over. They give you prompts such as "what are you looking forward to?" and you can even track your moods for the day. Add pictures of things you're grateful for each day, and you have your own scrapbook of memories and accomplishments! How cool to look back on when you're feeling down. We are setting a daily reminder on our phones to write down one thing we are grateful for for the month of November, we challenge you to do the same and see how you feel after one month!
Would guys like an updated post in December on how our month of gratitude went? Let us know in the comments! Feel free to reach out to us too here or on social media and tell us how you're incorporating gratitude and how it's going! We want to know!