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Find Your Upstate with Gratitude

November 21, 2017 by Gail Asbell

#FindYourUpstate. Over the coming months we will share some of the principles that drive us here at Upstate. And how you might be able to use them to help you live a life that feels good. We believe that one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to be grateful. So we thought we’d start there.

Gratitude is a phrase and concept that is thrown around here and there, but it’s something that takes practice and consistency to really start to make a difference in your life. One of our favorite quotes on gratitude really sums up how it can be influential in your life. “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” It’s not about changing what we have but about recognising it.

Brene Brown – a brilliant speaker, researcher, and writer – once told a story about the difference between a practice and an attitude. And how important the difference is. She used yoga as her example. She said that she has a yoga attitude. She likes the idea of it, she has the outfit, and she even has a mat. But does she go? No. If she went, she would then have a yoga practice. And she says the same thing goes for gratitude. We can think that we’re grateful, we can like the idea of gratitude, but until we start putting gratitude into practice, it’s simply an idea and an attitude and won’t make that much of an impact on our lives.

Here are some of our favourite ways you can turn your gratitude attitude into a practice.

Be open to it being a process and not always something you want to do

The first thing to remember about the act of being grateful is there is nothing too big or too small. And we don’t always have to feel grateful to be grateful. It’s the same as going to yoga, it’s not always exactly what we feel like. But it’s how it feels after that counts. Allow it to start to become habit. Even if all you can come up with is tiny and seemingly insignificant.

Bring Gratitude to the Dinner Table

Make gratitude a daily habit with the whole family. When you’re sitting around the dinner table, ask the whole family to take turns and say one thing they’re grateful for. Not only will this give you a chance to take your gratitude attitude and turn it into a practice, but it will encourage your whole family to get involved. And things done together are often more fun and achievable than when done alone.

Have a Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal is a really great way to keep gratitude front of mind. Either have it by your bed or in your bag. Pick a time and write 1-3 things you’re grateful for each and every day. Remember it can be literally anything. All of a sudden you’ll start seeing things you could write in there – and the process is starting to work.

Flip negatives into gratitude

We all have negative thoughts. Either about ourselves, others, situations, whatever it is. While this process can take a little time to get used to, when you have a negative thought, notice what you’re thinking about. Then flip the situation and find something (anything) that you could be grateful for. If it’s a situation at work, perhaps you’re grateful that you have a job and the aspects you enjoy. If you’re having negative thoughts about your body or how you look, find a part of your body you can be grateful for, or simply be grateful for the things your body is capable of doing.

Spread Gratitude

Tell others you’re grateful for them or the things that they do. Gratitude is contagious and infectious. The more you talk about it, the more you’ll think abut it, and the more others will start to follow suit.

Share your #findyourupstate moments with us and we will share more about what drives us in the coming months.

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