Become mindful of your surroundings.
Many of us spend so much time caught up in our internal chatter that we aren’t fully aware of what’s around us. Through practice, we can become skilled at noticing when this occurs and choose to redirect our attention from our inner to our outer world. To start, spend a few days simply pausing when you notice that you are in your head. Next, identify just one nice thing around you and truly take it in. Noticing the things that were there all along will help us create a mindset of appreciation and abundance instead of one of scarcity.
Begin your day with affirmations.
Affirmations are a great way to become more appreciative of ourselves, others, and the world. By taking time each morning to recite affirmations of appreciation, you set an intention to proactively appreciate instead of reacting to the day and waiting to magically feel appreciation. You can begin by using the affirmations below or by creating your own, but make sure they are simple and stated in a positive way.
I am noticing the beauty around me.
I appreciate how much life has to offer me.
End your day on a positive note.
During the moments just before falling asleep, many of us automatically resort to going over everything that went wrong that day or worrying about the next. Regularly choosing to use that time to recall three moments about the day you appreciated will not only help you sleep better, it will also rewire your brain to focus on positive moments over negative ones.
Sometimes a lack of appreciation for our life can be attributed to no longer being open and curious. When we stop being curious, it's because we've also stopped paying attention. Thankfully, curiosity, like many other personality traits, is something that can be developed. Take a moment to identify one person you take for granted. The next time you see them, don’t assume that you know everything about them. Instead, make the choice stay open and ask questions.
Savor the ordinary.
If we only value and wait for extraordinary experiences, we will overlook the small, daily ones that can give us just as much pleasure. Commit to letting go of the misguided belief that bigger is better and instead give yourself permission to slow down and fully experience the small moments. Instead of rushing through your day to get things done, pause once in awhile. Let yourself feel how your co-worker’s smile makes you feel welcomed, how the soft sweater you are wearing brings you comfort, or how satisfying that first sip of your cappuccino is. Recognizing that ordinary experiences have the potential to be extraordinary can lead to a newfound appreciation for them.
Love to write?
Every month we select a few writers to help us explore what it means to live more fully and mindfully. Reach out to Jennifer, our Editor, at email@example.com to learn more about contributing.
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Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.VIEW OUR THEMES