We often think of the larger things to which we show our bodies and minds appreciation, but we generally dismiss the lesser known, more trivial simplicities that we do each day. While showing gratitude for a big work presentation or landing a promotion should be duly noted, so should smaller things that we should be appreciative of.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on being thankful for the positive elements in their lives, as feel connected, supported and proud on a daily basis can make a huge difference to our total wellbeing. In addition, feeling grateful for your body and mind, and all the wonders it can do, is an especially helpful way to feel healthier and to develop and maintain healthy habits, such as regular exercise, proper nutrition and self-care rituals. We should try and bring ourselves up, not down, in order to boost self-esteem and performance in achieving our goals. Negativity can happen, but by thinking of small, simple things that we do each day that we should show gratitude for, we can remember just how awesome and fortunate we are and ban any negative thoughts that could be derailing us from our daily tasks. Here are eleven little things that we should look upon with pride and thankfulness, that we haven't already thought of before.
1. Getting Out Of Bed
This may seem silly, as don't we all need to get out of bed in order to get to work and be productive? Yet, it's not as easy as it seems. Pulling ourselves from the covers and motivating ourselves to get ready and brave the new day's tasks is something we should be grateful for. "Getting up in the morning to start your day," suggests holistic health coach and personal trainer Jen Bruno with J.B. Fitness and Nutrition over email with Bustle, is the ultimate step towards finding more accomplishments during the day.
2. A Small Kind Gesture
Doing something nice for others, whether it's through a compliment or gesture, can really boost their wellbeing and make their days so much better. This kindness in turn will affect your positivity as well, making you feel proud for adding a sense of value to another's day and making you feel connected to the world around you. "Holding the door for someone or doing something else for others," suggests Bruno, are examples of little acts of kindness.
3. Being Able To Forgive
Being able to forgive both yourself and others, says Bruno, should be truly appreciated, as it is hard to overcome the challenges in relationships and to break the tension to find reconciliation. If you open your heart to others and choose to forgive, you will not only be happier, as you'll most likely have more relationships and think of those around you as positive aspects in your life, but you will also cut yourself some slack when mistakes are made. Being too harsh with yourself can hurt your wellbeing over time.
4. Not Comparing Yourself To Others
It's hard to not compare yourself to others, with appearances, money and other indicators of success prevalent on social media. However, shutting out the noise is a huge, and difficult accomplishment. "Instead of trying to live up to the superficial highlight reel of others’ lives, recognize and appreciate yourself for the dignity with which you treat other people, the sacrifices you have made for your loved ones or to achieve a worthy goal, your commitment to persevering through a life that is often challenging and the small acts of kindness you do that go unnoticed by most," says therapist Chelsea Hudson, LCPC, over email with Bustle.
5. Staying In Touch With Relationships
Between work, immediate family commitments, geographic proximity, and the desperate need for solo, downtime, it's challenging to maintain the effort to stay close with friends and family. Appreciate yourself for calling your parents once a day or two to check in, or your old high school and college friends who moved across the globe. It's not a small feat keeping these connections alive, so appreciate the amount of effort you put in and know that it's certainly appreciated back!
6. Your Weird, Little Quirks
Nobody is alike, and it's important to appreciate and love yourself for all of your little quirks and hidden talents. "Your unique talent or skills or unique sense of humor," says Bruno, make you who you are and should be seen as a positive attribute that plays into how well you hold yourself in work, social relationships and in your personal ability to remain resilient, fun, and accomplished.
7. Good Intentions
Often when we make mistakes we are overcome with guilt, as we know that we messed up and hurt the people we care about. Yet, the intention gets dismissed, as we only focus on the negative outcome of the situation. If you had poor intentions, then maybe guilt is appropriate, but if you had good intentions and just didn't do the right thing in the end, then you shouldn't beat yourself up over the loss. Appreciate the fact that you had meant well, and try and use this outcome as a lesson for next time, says Bruno.
8. Your Ability To Stay Strong
It's easy to feel low when things don't go our way or we are met with failure, especially when that failure happens again and again. However, not everyone can bring themselves up after hitting a road block, and such resiliency and mental toughness should be noted as inspiring, as it can dramatically enhance one's power over life and the likelihood of future success.
9. Your Physical "Imperfections"
Whether you feel insecure about a certain body part, or you have a birthmark, scar, burn or other physical impair from either birth or life's experiences, these physical "imperfections" are actually perfect, as they define you and your journey, states Bruno. Personally, I have a large birthmark on my right arm and back. I used to cover it up and avoided tank tops, but once I realized it made me who I was and defined a personal aspect of my life that is hidden to most, I found a new appreciation for it and now bare at ease.
10. Your Ability To Live In The Moment
Experts suggest that living in the moment can boost mindfulness and wellbeing and can make us more productive, appreciate of life and more mentally aware of our surroundings and where we lie in relation to the world. The idea of "be here now" is something that is hard for most to achieve, as our thoughts are consumed with work, stress, and never-ending tasks throughout the day. It's hard to disassociate from these things, so if you can, you should be grateful for your ability.
11. A Great Conversation
Between small talk and work talk, deep, personal and stimulating conversations can be less common. However, finding a great conversation can make us feel connected and heard and can build greater relationships that we can then appreciate going forward. Even if you never see this person again, be thankful for that moment of inspiring words, because it's truly beautiful and rare.
While tangible accomplishments, such as making more money, going up a grade in school, or nailing a case or presentation, are all stark accomplishments, it's really the little things that we do or that we are fortunate to experience that add up. By being thankful for less obvious qualities, we can feel more confident and happy in our day.
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