Gratitude equals joy: how to have more of it - Sage B. Hobbs

At 23 I had a sucker punch to the gut.  I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma- chemo, radiation, the whole shabang.  Through that experience, and for a while afterward, I felt truly connected to gratitude.  Never before had I so appreciated being alive.  I thought that feeling of daily gratitude would last forever.  But life returned to “normal” and my gratitude waned. So, I had to learn to exercise my gratitude muscle.

How do we feel grateful even when life feels crappy?  How do we appreciate the simple things and truly feel joy?

With time, I learned that being grateful takes commitment and practice.  It is so easy to get pulled back into life’s daily events, moving along without being truly present to what we are doing and WHY we are doing it.  Often, we think we’re happy but we’re not fully experiencing the happiness.

Here are 3 ways to up your gratitude and increase your joy:

  1. Take note.  One of the truths about life is that the world is big, and there are always others who have more or less than we do.  We waste a lot of energy making comparisons.  Instead, look at your own life and take note of what you are grateful for.  The hilarious movie you watched last night, your best friend’s laugh, your cozy bed, your 3 meals a day, a hot cup of coffee, your able body.  Make a list, keep a journal, or my personal favorite, create a gratitude jar that you fill daily with a simple piece of paper with one thing of gratitude.  You’ll be amazed how quickly the jar fills up.

  1. Slow down.  I know, easier said than done for some of us.  As a fast thinking, fast talking, fast moving person, this one takes practice for me.  There seem to be endless things to get done, people to call back, books to read, places to see, laundry to do, kids to feed.  Cultivate slowness.  Take an extra minute in the shower.  Put down your phone and read the comics to your kid.  Walk more slowly to the train.  As you slow down, use your senses to observe the world.  Our brains are so busy with chatter we forget about the 5 senses we all relied on as children to teach us about the world.  Slow down and smell the flowers.

  1. Acknowledge others.  Human beings love to feel appreciated.  It is a fact of human nature.  That dessert you made was amazing.  You did such a good job on your presentation.  Your children are so thoughtful and funny.  We love to be acknowledged!  The amazing part is that the more we acknowledge others, the more grateful we feel.  When you appreciate the people around you, you truly feel a sense of appreciation for your life and your experiences.

How do you practice gratitude?  How does being grateful bring you more joy?

I so appreciate that you use your valuable time to read this and participate in this endeavor to have a thriving life, and thus change the world.

As always, please share this with people in your life. We want all women playing for purpose, joy, and wealth in the world!

With love and gratitude,

Sage

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