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Appreciation

An idea that I keep returning to with my journey toward a happier life is looking for joy in situations that aren't typically very joyful. I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "Hard work is its own reward," but what does that mean? How can something that you loathe doing be in any way rewarding? How can you look for joy there?
I believe that January offers the stillness necessary for revivification, and because of this, I've gotten into the habit the past couple of years of using the month as a true reset. I am especially thrilled about this opportunity this year. I ended 2022 not with a bang nor a fizzle but with a nagging cold, a shoulder injury, and a sub-par attitude. I'd like to share with you today my intentions around the new year to amend these physical and psychic wrongs.
The best gifts don't come in prettily-wrapped packages. The best gifts aren't found under the tree. The best gifts are things we experience all year long.
This isn't one of those stock Thanksgiving blogicles where I waste 500 words tossing around washed-up phrases about how "gratitude is an attitude." It's much worse than that. I'm going to try to challenge your notion of gratitude altogether. I said early on in my HealthyPlace journey that I wasn't going to try to convince anyone of anything, but we all knew I was lying. So let me be explicit about this: I want you to leave this post believing that gratitude isn't just for the things in your life that are working. I want you to walk away feeling grateful for the challenges in your life that aren't. 
I'm writing this just a few minutes removed from a morning run, which I hated almost every second. I'm not like the runners you see in the movies who gracefully jog with their camera-ready smiles; my face is usually fixed in a mask of focused despair, disguising not at all how distasteful I find the whole situation. This run was no different—my feet hurt, my heart pounded quicker than it wanted to, and my respiration struggled to keep pace. In short, the run absolutely, unmistakably, irrevocably sucked. It was exactly what I'd hoped for. I was hoping to increase my distress tolerance.
While it's only been a few months since I started writing as an author for "Living a Blissful Life," I have enjoyed offering a bit of hope during a stressful time for many. With so many struggles, negativity, and challenges in this world, I intended to show that it is still possible to live a blissful life. I hope you've been able to learn a few tips through my posts and realized you, too, have this opportunity.
When life feels extremely heavy, it can be a struggle to keep moving in the right direction, let alone practice gratitude. Simply getting out of bed in the morning feels like an overwhelming task. But reminding yourself of one thing, as you navigate each of life's ups and downs, can be profoundly impactful. Even during the darkest moments, when life doesn't feel worth living, there is always something for which to be grateful.
Having gratitude in quarantine is important because, if you're anything like me, the last few weeks have been a rollercoaster. Ever since COVID-19 took over the media, politics, and our minds, it can seem difficult to think of anything else. While the fears (and realities) of coronavirus are less than ideal, forced quarantine provides an opportunity for growth. It's not every day that must stay inside for the good of humanity. Here, I'll discuss a few ways you can use the quarantine to your advantage.
Perhaps you've heard the saying that an "attitude of gratitude" is good for you. Is it just an old wive's tale, or is there any truth to it? This season of thanks and giving seemed like a good time to check the research and find out. Here's what I learned about how practicing gratitude affects your brain.
While I’ve enjoyed my time as a writer for "Living a Blissful Life" at HealthyPlace, this is my final post on the blog. Through my time writing here I’ve learned how to better articulate the methods I use for my own mental health recovery. Most importantly, however, I’ve learned about the impact sharing our stories can make.