“Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has — as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants.” – Psychology Today
Heya! How is life treating you? It’s hard sometimes isn’t it? It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the small, silly things in your day-to-day. The game playing and dramas at work, Netflix not loading when you’re ready for an all-night binge of GOT, Poldark, or The Last Kingdom, forgetting to fill the cat’s auto feeder (guilty), and more. When you’re neck-deep in the small stuff, that’s when you need to step back and stop sweating it all. Because that’s not your life. You are not all those small insignificant little dramas. You are so much more than that. I mean, you’re here right? You have this wonderful opportunity to live an amazing life.
Getting wrapped up in all our wants, needs, and desires can be tricky. It can create a life of always wanting more instead of revelling and finding joy in what we do have.
When it comes to gratitude, I’ve been a slacker. Well, not lately…just for the first 38 years of my life. It’s not that I haven’t been grateful, it’s more that I haven’t practiced it consciously. I haven’t spent real-time doing the work. Know what I mean?
So whenever I was lost, stressed, or feeling blue, I shopped my way to fulfillment instead of being grateful for what I already had. I spent years trying to understand why I had such a shopping problem. The answer was quite simple – gratitude. Being grateful for what I already had + loving myself for me = waaay simpler life.
When you clear out the clutter in your brain and figure out what truly brings you happiness, you’ll find gratitude and simple living. You protect yourself from the effects of stress, living beyond your means, and unhappiness. You’re able to weather the storm much better. It’s a contingency plan of sorts for the tough times.
Finding a simpler way of life doesn’t have to be complicated, here’s how practicing gratitude led me to a simpler life.
HOW GRATITUDE CAN LEAD YOU TO A SIMPLER LIFE
It makes you think about what you do have + what no longer serves you.
When you focus your mind on abundance, you start seeing all the things you really do have at home, in your relationships, your own strengths and what delights your mind, body, and soul. It can be something as simple as looking in the fridge and realizing – hey, I’ve got plenty of food in here, why do I want to buy more? Think of it as an active daily pro’s and con’s list.
You’ll understand what brings you joy + what doesn’t.
Gratitude helps you hone in on what you love and what you don’t love. For me, I began to understand what I wanted from a career, that I needed my morning meditation walks, and that I loathed rush hour traffic. By creating a mindset that disconnects you from a conventional lifestyle, you can weather any storm.
You’ll start your day with what makes you happy.
Okay, easier said than done right? WRONG. Have you ever jumped out of bed and immediately grabbed your smart phone to check everything? Come on, I know you have. You jumped out of bed and started trolling Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and searching through all your emails. When you do this, you start your day by cluttering your mind with comparison, wanting what others have and let’s face it – lots of stress. Admit it, all of that stresses you the heck out, doesn’t it? Yeppers it does. When you start your day with a simple stretch to the sky, a thank you to the universe for another day, and maybe a short walk, you’re a much happier person.
You stop craving things and start craving more of life.
When I consciously practiced gratitude, I stopped craving stuff. In fact, what happened is I wanted to set fire to all the things I had wasted my life energy collecting. You’re particular about what comes into your life. And the best of all? You want to create!
Gratitude inspires self-love.
Oh yes indeedy it does! When you begin to understand what a blessing it is to be alive, you no longer feel needy. You accept who you are and find fulfillment in life and improving your mind. For the longest time, I picked myself apart. I mean, what woman doesn’t at some point? My eyes aren’t perfect, my butt is too big, people won’t like me unless I’m a size 4 – that kind of silly mind garbage happened. But when gratitude entered the picture, whoa! Things shifted. I became grateful just to be alive. I mean, what does Gary Vee say? You have a 1 in 400 trillion chance to be born. Well heck, I’m uber happy to be here and experiencing all of this then. With gratitude, I accepted my body, I better understood my strengths and weaknesses and harnessed them to my advantage. I adopted the mindset that if people don’t like me, then I’m just not their cup of tea and that’s okay. No drama. And less drama = simpler life.
We are lucky to be humans .. go make the most of it .. pic.twitter.com/ebASzGB5Ak
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) January 31, 2017
Related: Compassion + Self – Care
Relationships are less complicated.
Jealousy, competition and judgement melt away. You see and accept others for who they are. You’re also better able to decide who belongs in your life and who doesn’t.
Simple living means owning less and finding happiness in the meaningful things in life. Gratitude allows you to focus on what you already have – to find joy in the simple things. Gratitude in itself leads to a simpler life. Gratitude is about relationships, experiences and moments. When you find meaning in the simple things on your journey, you gain clarity.