It has been more than a week since the 2022 national elections. While my legs have just recovered after standing in line for more than five hours, my heart has yet to find peace. Vote counting is not yet over and some technical issues have yet to be resolved. With so many things happening around, distractions abound. I find myself repeatedly having feelings of frustration or engaging in endless group chat sessions.
Yesterday’s free virtual session with a group of volunteer psychologists and life coaches proved helpful in alleviating the emotional pain of not having things your way. In the midst of feeling hopeless, I was reminded of a basic thought I often take for granted – Every day is a gift. The opportunity to spend another 24 hours alive is reason enough to celebrate and move forward with what we can do. I was reminded that the sooner we realize this and the more we incorporate the feeling of being thankful for each day, we’ll notice that more good things happen. How exactly are we supposed to shift our ways? Here are some simple suggestions I took note of.
Say “Thank You.”
Express yourself in words by saying «Thank you» to people who deserve your gratitude no matter how small their acts of love or kindness may be. Letting others know you appreciate them or what they have done to you will ignite a positive feeling and possibly start the ripples of gratitude.
Keep a gratitude journal
Maintaining a gratitude journal is like having a vitamin kit within reach. Whenever we are down or hitting low moments in life, the gratitude journal is what we can instantly run to. Seeing a list of the things that made us feel good or positive will provide us with the extra boost we need. All we have to do is jot down the things that we feel thankful for during the day (no matter how simple). We may add smileys and doodles to keep the feeling alive. Our journals will serve as our repository of the good stuff we can easily go back to.
When we give ourselves the task to fill up a space in the journal at the end of the day, we will be more conscious of things around us and watchful of every moment that brings us joy. Before we realize it, appreciation for the simplest things (e.g. driving without traffic or finding a P100-bill in your pocket) will come out naturally.
Visualize your blessings.
While it is often advised to start the day with mental snapshots of our goals or the things we wish to happen, we believe it is also crucial to end the day in a similar manner. This time, focus should be on the positive things that transpired. Right before going to sleep, keep happy thoughts and playback in your mind all the wonderful reasons to feel grateful. As recommended, visualize as if you are watching a film inside your head. This daily habit trains you in the process and aids in giving you a more relaxed sleep.
Utter a silent prayer.
No matter what your faith is, it is said to be important to express your gratitude to the One who makes all the good things possible. A simple thank you uttered in silence will surely mean so much. This simple exercise will hopefully inspire one to pay it forward and be an instrument in doing things others will also be thankful for. For non-believers, it is said that prayer can be in the form of meditation or having silent moments for deep reflection.
My friend’s takeaway from her own virtual healing session struck me big time. It is a quote from Australian activist, evangelist, and international speaker Christine Caine. Caine reminded, “Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.”
At this point, we need to embrace the uncertainties beyond our control. We have no way to go but grow.
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