After a year of having events on hold, you are undoubtedly thrilled to be back to doing what you love. In fact, event professionals all around the country are reporting that they’re busier than ever! But all of that business means added stress, and it can sometimes be hard to feel grateful and happy at all times. Don’t feel guilty because as Marissa Fernandez, an executive coach, points out, “No one is positive and grateful all the time. We all have negative thoughts and emotions." In addition, “Most people confuse pleasure with happiness,” says Milana Perepyolkina, author of Dark Chocolate for the Soul: Turning a Bitter Life into a Sweet Life No Matter What Happens to You. “When you spend money, you experience pleasure. Several hours later, this pleasure is also gone. Happiness is a mindset that comes from living your life with purpose and serving others. Gratitude and connection with other people are what makes us happy.” So how you can practice gratitude on a daily basis to help you live a happier life? Here are some simple ways to get started!
Start a Gratitude Journal
Yes, you’ve heard this one before, but Megan Swan, a mindset & wellness coach at Megan Swan Wellness, believes this is the key to cultivating a thankful frame of mind, even when things get hectic. Each night before going to bed, take just two minutes to jot down three things that you're grateful for. You don’t have to write much, just a bullet point list will do. “It will be easy to think of three things for a week or two, but then as time goes on, this exercise will force you to get creative and that's what will rewire your brain,” explains Swan. “During the day, your brain will start to look for things to be grateful for to jot down in your notebook. This small but significant shift in your daily focus will automatically make you feel happier.”
Spend Time on Self-Care
It is hard to feel grateful when you’re tired and stressed. People tend to think you need an exorbitant amount of time to relax, such as spending the day at the spa or taking a long nap. But just 20 minutes can help reset your mood and keep you in a positive frame of mind. Take a walk around the block, have a quick chat with a friend, meditate—whatever you need to destress.
Pay Attention to Your Self-Talk
You might be surprised at how often you think or say negative things to yourself. Fernandez recommends writing down your inner dialogue because seeing it in print will often make your worries seem less daunting.
Make it a habit to thank people throughout the day, recommends Dr. Brian Wind, Chief Clinical Officer at Journey Pure. “It helps you to focus on the things that are going well and appreciate the people you enjoy working with,” he explains. “It's also a good way to help others feel appreciated.”
Having reminders around to be thankful can help shift your mindset into a positive and grateful one. “You could have affirmations on your phone wallpaper, on top of your notebook, or in any other place that you look at often,” says Dr. Wind.
Get involved in a cause or foundation that matters deeply to you, recommends Fernandez. “A sense of meaning and purpose in life leads to greater satisfaction and positivity in one's life—and giving back also puts your own life into perspective.”
Hero photo courtesy of Philip Lee