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Living in Gratitude-7 Types of Rest

Did you know that sleep and rest are not the same thing? 

Many of us believe we are rested when we’ve gotten a good night’s sleep — but there are other types of rest we need and are desperately lacking. Many of us are enduring a rest deficiency because of the “constantly busy” culture that makes us believe we have to produce and achieve 24/7. Downtime of any sort isn’t “socially” acceptable. And if we do take time to truly rest and relax, we often are left feeling guilty.

The result? A whole lot of constantly tired and chronically burned-out people. 

Our society doesn’t realize and recognize the power of rest. Rest is about rejuvenation, not just sleep.

 An article on Ideas.Ted.com discussed the seven essential types of rest that every one of us requires.

Physical rest

This is the rest that immediately comes to mind, but it entails more than sleeping. Physical rest has two components. The first is passive, such as when we are sleeping or taking a nap. Active physical rest are times we engage in restorative practices such as yoga, getting a massage, or taking a leisurely walk. These activities improve flexibility and circulation.

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Living In Gratitude: Caught Unaware

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes, I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked. 

‘Just a minute,’ answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. 

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie. 

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. 

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Living In Gratitude: 10 Things to Quit in 2020

The New Year symbolizes a fresh start, with many people making resolutions. Often these are things like losing weight, getting fit or eating healthier. These are all great resolutions, but we wanted to pose ten other possibilities that can make an enormous impact on your wellbeing, relationships, career and overall happiness.

Here is a list of ten things to quit in the year ahead. Whether you pick one or work on all of them, these are resolutions that will make life so much better. 

1.Trying to please everyone

2. Fearing change

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Living In Gratitude: Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Image by Makro_Wayland from Pixabay

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

Author Unknown

May your Thanksgiving holiday and each day that follows be filled with gratitude and good things.

Living In Gratitude: Loving and Investing in Friends

We all know how important it is to invest in our romantic relationships, making special gestures of affection, planning for the future, and spending quality time together. Making this same investment of time and energy is just as important with our friends. All relationships need continual nurturing to sustain them and make them grow. Extending love, support, and energy to friends will ensure your relationship with each individual remains strong and deeply rooted. 

True friendships:

  • Are respectful, thoughtful, and consistent
  • Honor commitments, have boundaries and reasonable expectations
  • Give one another special attention and invest in their future together as friends

Our biological families are ones with which we are born. Friends are the people we’ve chosen as our extended family. They provide love, support, fun, community, and very often a deep understanding and acceptance of us. True friends deserve special attention and focused energy.  

Here are five ways to express your love and appreciation to your chosen friend family.

1: Thoughtful Gestures

Find ways to express your appreciation for each of your friends in a way that is tailored to them. Think of all the special things you might do for a new romantic partner and do these for your friends. Bring them their favorite meal for lunch, send them a card just because, make a mix CD of their favorite songs, offer to pet sit when they’re away, bring them homemade soup when they’re sick, offer to help them write their resume or help them plan a vacation. You get the picture. These types of thoughtful gestures will make them feel special, loved, and supported. It will also deepen your relationship.

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Living In Gratitude: Daily Intentions

Our intention creates reality. – Wayne Dyer

Studies have proven that happy, successful individuals have a set routine and habits that keep them focused. One of these practices is taking time time each morning to set a daily intention.

This helps alleviate stress, creating an inner peace and assuredness that provides a fresh perspective. An intention is simply a promise you make to yourself. Setting aside time to contemplate your purpose for the day ahead allows for the opportunity to collect your thoughts and make a commitment regarding what you want to achieve as well as your attitude and behavior. This positive intention can involve your health and wellbeing, self-care, your career, education, hobbies, social activities, family time. 

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Living In Gratitude: Finding Joy

As a society, our primary focus is on achievement and success. The pressure to perform and the heightened expectation of success is a burden that weighs us down, decreasing our enthusiasm and robbing us of the ability to experience joy. 

An accomplished life frequently equates to our career. But there is so much more to life than work. When we define our life’s purpose solely on our level of success in our jobs, this can leave us feeling devoid of joy.

In her book, “Joyful,” Ingrid Fetell Lee reveals how important it is to nurture joy in our lives.

Joy is all about feeling good in the moment. Kindled by our five senses, joy is what we feel when we watch puppies playing, hear the belly laugh of a baby, see the stunning beauty of a rainbow, or are immersed in the rich serene colors of a sunset.

Fetell Lee explains that as a culture, we are so obsessed with the pursuit of long-term happiness that we lose sight of finding moments of joy. In our quest for happiness, we are looking to achieve a permanent state being, something that is not realistic or attainable. That’s why it is so important that we seek out those moments of joy to refuel our spirit. 

The practicality of day-to-day life coupled with an expectation of success erases joy. Yet, joy is a significant aspect of our innate reward system. We can instantly boost our mood and motivation by seeking out joyous experiences.

There are things that have been proven to universally ignite joy: things that are bursting with color, round shapes, symmetry, and abundance. 

Color is life because a world without it is dead.” – Inrid Fetell Lee

Joy helps bring about the very best of who we are. Each moment of joy may be fleeting but they add up over time, filling our “bucket,” making us smile, giving us those warm fuzzies, motivating us to be our best selves.

Go through each day with an intent to seek out things that bring you joy. Maybe it’s how the morning sunlight glints off your cat’s vivid green eyes or how loved you feel when your partner or child wraps you in a hug. It could be the cool breeze across your skin on a warm afternoon or the smell of your favorite food. Those are the places where joy hides.

Yes, success and achievement are important but finding joy benefits all areas of our lives. Joy motivates and inspires. Joy opens us up to possibilities, helps us be better people, and enables us to connect with others. 

Go ahead. Find the things that bring you joy. Grab onto those moments. Embrace them. Let them fill you up with pure exuberance. 

May your day be filled with gratitude, joy, and good things.

Living In Gratitude: Breaking The Complaining Habit

You can complain because roses have thorns or you can rejoice because thorns have roses. ~Ziggy

Studies have shown that a good majority of us complain once each minute during a conversation. Why do we engage in this behavior so frequently?

Because it feels good. But just because it feels good doesn’t mean it is good for us.

In fact, research shows that complaining is damaging to our health.

 

Any time we repeat a behavior, it becomes easier and easier. This is true of things that are good for us as well as bad.  Just as paths in a meadow that are traveled frequently become more defined, so do the cognitive pathways that we exercise become more enduring. When we continually complain, our brain rewires itself by building neurological information bridges. As we complain more and more, these bridges become more distinct, resulting in this negative pattern developing into a default behavior. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Setting Healthy Boundaries

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. ~Brené Brown

Many of us lack boundaries in all aspects of our life. We allow others to make demands on us as well as our time without our permission. Instead, we acquiesce for fear of hurting someone’s feelings, being excluded, or simply out of obligation.

This absence of personal boundaries teaches others that we can and will do what they ask of us, no matter how inconvenient. And those same people will continue to test this lack of boundaries, always pushing to see if we will go one step further, put up with one more inconvenience, take on one more project at work.

One large contributing factor to a lack of personal limits is our smartphones, tablets, and computers. There is a prevailing belief that we MUST respond instantaneously to an email, text, social media post, or phone call.  Being tethered to our devices keeps us at the mercy of others, enabling them to make demands on us anytime and anywhere.

Establishing unyielding boundaries are an indicator of our relationship with ourselves. These limiters are indicative that we value ourselves and firmly believe that we are entitled to determining what demands or requests we accept or decline. These personal restrictions shouldn’t be compromised or altered to fit different situations or relationships. Setting healthy boundaries helps reduce the drama, chaos, obligation, and stress the results from taking on other people’s problems or agreeing to participate in something that doesn’t serve us.

When we fail to set steadfast boundaries for ourselves, we openly allow others to take advantage of us.  Establishing and adhering to healthy boundaries are representative of the respect for ourselves, our values, and our time. These restrictions do not mean we care less for others but rather that we are honoring our needs and standing up for ourselves.

If you are one of the many who don’t have limitations in place or whose boundaries are much more fluid than they should be, here are five steps to defining and implementing healthy personal boundaries.

  1. Identify your core values

Determine exactly what things are important to you in all areas of your life: work, family, friends, romantic relationships, etc. This step is not about avoiding or trying to appease others but should be about you. They should focus on things that allow you to minimize stress and anxiety, allow creativity and productivity, and maintain a sense of personal satisfaction and stability. Read more

Living in Gratitude: 7 Ways to Make the World a Better Place

You make the world a better place by making yourself a better person. ~Scott Scorrell

During our lifetime, each of us makes an impact. One of the most significant impressions we can make is by doing what we can as individuals to make the world a better place.

Here are 7 ways we can have a positive influence.

1. DO NO HARM

If everyone endeavored to achieve this goal, our world would be transformed. We should all strive to live by this motto. Help others. Be patient. Smile more. Say thank you. Be courteous. Make eye contact. Spread kindness, love, and goodwill every day.

2. ENJOY YOUR TIME

Instead of focusing on the negative, look at what is wonderful and amazing. Sure, it’s easy to get caught up in what isn’t going our way, to complain, argue, and get upset or annoyed. Yet by looking and being grateful for the good, we can shift our outlook, enjoying what life has to offer.

3. UPLIFT THE NEXT GENERATION

Being a good parent or grandparent (or an encouraging adult influence if you don’t have children in your life) is a way to positively impact and inspire the younger generation and as such, the world as a whole. Working toward offering youth new and better opportunities, talking to them about what it means to be part of a connected, global world and teaching them to make their own uplifting contributions is a huge payoff for the next generation.

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