Keep a Gratitude List

One of the best small changes I have made for my mental health is keeping a running list of the things I am grateful for.  Every night I try to write a list of 5-15 things that happened that day that make me grateful to be alive.  It ranges from small things that happen almost everyday, like my dog cuddling me, to rare occasions, like starting Yoga Teacher Training.  On good days I feel like I could write the list forever, and on bad days it can be tough to hit my goal of five.  However I know that focusing on the goods things, no matter how small, make them stand out more.  Everyday I am on the look out for things to be grateful for; a text from a friend, a little bit of sun, fall weather.  Everything starts to feel better when I acknowledge what is going right instead of letting my anxiety brain take me on a runaway train of what could go wrong.

Extra credit: Try to show your appreciation for one of the things on your gratitude list! Thankful your friend randomly texted you while you were feeling down? Pay it forward and text them a compliment unexpectedly.  Pleased someone let you cut in during your morning commute?  Let someone else struggling to get in the right lane hop in front of you.  It can be small and random, but surrounding yourself in gratitude by both recognizing your own gifts in life and paying it forward to someone else, can create a much more positive atmosphere.

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