I was recently asked during an interview (yes, an interview) if this blog will give you an easy 5 step instruction on How To Make a Life. I laughed because I suppose it can come across as if I think I have all of the answers. I will never pretend that I do – however I am willing to put myself out in the world as I attempt to discover the best way to Make My Life.
Yes, I am a Counselor by training and I have helped many individuals to make changes in their life. However, I do not pretend to have it all together and any counselor (or other helping professional who does) is not truly being honest with you or with themselves. I like to think I have obtained insight over the years and I have been fortunate enough to take this transition time in my life where I reassess what is next.
The one “How To” I feel should be on every one’s list is the practice of gratitude.
During my morning run/walk, rather than listen to music I chose to listen to a Ted Talk podcast on Simply Happy. There were many wonderful topics and discussions but the one which stood out was from Brother David Steindl – RaRast, a monk and interfaith scholar. He believes that happiness simply comes from gratitude.
But why is gratitude so difficult for many?
Many believe it is because we are such a busy culture and society and desire instantaneous results that we do more time reacting to a situation than stepping away from it. True, there are moments when there appears to be nothing to be grateful for, but they are there. Mixed in with the feelings of anger/despair or hurt there is something to be grateful for.
Research shows that establishing a gratitude practice will lead to an improved change in mood in less than five days.
The Ted Talk suggested a short How To Lesson in regards to developing gratitude and happiness in moments of stress. He used the example of how we learned to cross a street as children.
Stop. Look. Go.
Stop: Slow down. Stop multi tasking and worrying about 10 different things and take a deep breath.
Look: Look at where you truly are in a situation. Explore the options. You may be overlooking things.
Go: After weighing the direction you feel is best. Take off in that direction.
During my darkest days of watching my Mom and Nanny battle cancer, I daily acknowledged the things I was grateful for. I had friends who were checking on me. During my most intense times of grief I have not had to worry about a 40 hour/week job that may not have understood my emotions. Most importantly I’ve been given time to slow down and look at where my life should go next.
Regardless of what you may be going through I encourage you STOP. LOOK. and GO.
Every given moment is a given opportunity to be grateful.
Sheryl is a transition coach, trainer and speaker from Lexington Kentucky. As the author of the blog How to Make A Life, she uses her own life and journey as a blueprint to help others find motivation, inspiration and hope for a healthy and happy life. About Twitter Instagram Pinterest