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6 Ways to Generate Gratitude During Trying Times

Choose how you show up amid COVID-19 and beyond – 6 simple steps to approaching life’s challenges with gratitude.

Experiencing gratitude during an early morning walk in nature.
Experiencing gratitude during an early morning walk in nature.

It’s been 2 months since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the US and somehow I’ve managed to draw joy and gratitude out of what could be perceived as a very daunting experience.  Here are some simple ways you can approach these trying times.

  1. Start Your Day on a Positive Note with a Simple Morning Routine

Forget about FOMO.  No more looking at your phone and definitely do not turn on the news first thing each morning.  The best way to start your day is with a simple 20 minute routine.  The first step is the most important one of them all – open your eyes and choose to live.  And I mean, REALLY choose to live your best life.  Every. Single. Day.  Having this thought each morning gives me all the feels I need to be in possibility for the day ahead.  Next, empty your bladder to filter the toxins out of your body.  Tongue scraping is another great method to dissipate toxins and should be step 3 of your morning routine.  Scrape your tongue, ideally with a copper anti-microbial scraper, brush your teeth and then scrape again.  Adding this practice to your morning routine will enhance your sense of taste and create a sense of gratitude for every sip of liquid or bite of food you get to enjoy that day.  After that, drink 1-2 cups of hot water in order to enhance digestion.  Last, but not least, take 5-10 minutes to do something that generates gratitude.  This can include meditation, breath work, or some form of movement, such as yoga.  It can even be as simple as journaling three things you’re grateful for each day.

  1. Set an Intention for the Day

According to Merriam-Webster’s definition, intention is “a determination to act in a certain way.”  This differs from a goal, which they define as “the end toward which effort is directed.”  Simply put, your intention is a guiding principle for your way of being that keeps you focused on achieving your goals.  Set an intention at the start of the day in order to raise your vibration and make the most of a situation.  Remember, according to the Law of Attraction, your intentions create your reality.  Therefore, keep it positive and in tune with your values.  For instance, I intend to live with ease, patience and joy despite what I hear on the news.  I intend to be kind, help my neighbors and inspire others to do the same.  Now you try it.

  1. Take Time to Reflect

Think about all the luxuries in life you may have been taking for granted prior to this global pandemic.  How has this “reset” made you more appreciative of these things?  Once you remove all the noise from your former everyday life, can you identify what is important to you?  When you take the time to think about the people and things that are most important, it helps put things into perspective and your possibilities become endless.

  1. Go Back to Basics

Step outside for a moment and get some fresh air.  Notice with all your senses the things you may not have noticed before.  Cook with whole foods, quality ingredients and intention.  Listen to upbeat music and joyfully dance while doing so!  Pick up a book to challenge your perspectives and open your mind.  Improve holistic health and well-being through connection and laughter, which are said to be the best forms of medicine. Have deep conversations with the people in your life while maintaining social distancing. 

  1. Express Gratitude Toward Another Person

It’s important to understand the distinction between gratitude and thankfulness.  Paraphrasing from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, being grateful is a feeling of appreciation from one who receives a benefit while being thankful is a conscious act from one who receives said benefit.  You can choose to express gratitude toward someone close to you or toward a complete stranger.  Maybe someone who had extra toilet paper shared the wealth.  Or perhaps someone let you cut the line at the grocery store because they noticed you had a crying infant with you.  Feel free to express your gratitude through verbal acknowledgement, writing a letter of gratitude, or giving a small gift – whichever comes easiest to you. There’s no time like the present to tell someone how you feel or express what their actions mean to you. 

  1. Remember That We’re All on the Same Team

There is an old African philosophy called Ubuntu, which translates to “I am because you are.”  Take a moment to think about that.  It essentially means that we’re all on the same team.  We are one.  Stay connected and be in service to your community.  Check in on your neighbors, friends, and family.  Share your ideas and talents with others, help those in need and spread love and positive vibrations.  In today’s day and age, FaceTime, Google Duo, and Zoom are fantastic video conferencing resources to stay connected with the ones you love. 

Let’s band together as a community to choose gratitude over fear and make the most of this trying time!    

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