Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Appreciation vs. Gratitude....

For the first time in a really long I've been trying to do some self care.  When I quit my job I made a diligent effort to get up each morning before my kids, even if it was just a few minutes and lay there and go over the things I was grateful for.  When I stopped working it was the first time in over five years I didn't wake up everyday with an agenda.  While I was working, I had diligently gotten myself into a routine where Monday through Friday I dreaded the start of each day, but on Saturday I would jump out of bed because that was the day I could focus on doing whatever I wanted, which was usually my home and family.  I want to live my life where everyday feels like Saturday after a long work week.

It was that gratitude practice that helped dramatically shift myself out of some really hard months. Since then I found myself drawn to some of these self help ideas.  In particular listening to some podcasts that focus on gratitude as a way to change your life.  This week in particular I listened to Jess Lively's - The Lively Show, and Alison & Eric from -The Alison Show.  Both focused on the idea that an actual gratitude practice each day can change your life.  The point here being that it is a PRACTICE, something you DO each day!  There are a few points I wanted to list here, for myself, for future reference. 

#1 The Lively Show - she explained how Appreciation is a feeling that will change your life more dramatically that gratitude.  Today we often use those words interchangeably, but they create very different feelings.  

- Appreciation is the feeling of gratefulness that also consumes you with that undeserving humility.  

- Gratitude -The act of feeling grateful for a job well done, circumstance, person, etc. 

Doing a gratitude practice will help you appreciate your life more! 

#2 The Alison Show - Gratitude when combined with physicality creates the feeling stronger.  Also, when you feel grateful you start living your life more fully in the present moment.  Therefore, if you have a tendency, like me, to wish your life away.  This is a very good secret to learn.  

Lastly, here are three practices that have helped me over the last few months. 

1.  When your eyes open in the morning, lay in bed and think of things your grateful for. 5-10 minutes.  Set an alarm on your phone, so you don't have to keep looking at the clock.  If you can't think of anything, start with your feet and move up your body.  This has helped me in particular be more grateful for a body that sometimes I let myself have negative thoughts about. 

2.  Walk around the block, or in my case through the cemetery and go through your list.  This is great because it's adding some physicality to your list. 

3.  Before bed, I have a journal on my night stand and I list 10 things I was grateful for that day. 

4.  Walk to the mailbox and make yourself feel grateful the entire way there and back. 

5.  During the sacrament on Sunday's, run through all the things that savior did for you, that you appreciate.  Because we all know how undeserving we can feel when we focus on a realize what he did for us. 

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