We often get so caught up in our own “stuff” that we get lost in our thoughts and worries and plans, and we end up blocking out the rest of the world. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of being in a crowded place (a store, the metro/bus, the gym) and even though you were surrounded by people, you didn’t actually see any of them because you were up in your own head.
The trouble with this is that 1) your thoughts are usually focused in the past or the future, which means you’re missing the experience of the present moment and 2) you don’t connect with anyone around you, leading to the feeling of isolation in a crowded room.
So how can you remedy both of these struggles at once?
Gratitude for being exactly where you need to be in any given moment. (Easier said than done, amiright?)
This week in particular is a great reminder of the power of gratitude to bring you peace of mind and ground you in the present moment. And this Thursday, people throughout the U.S. will be giving thanks for their families, jobs, friends, food, health, and everything in between. It’s pretty cool, if you think about it, that for one day our entire country will be living in gratitude.
But as powerful as gratitude is, we can take this concept even deeper. Lately I’ve been hit over the head with reminders of the importance of ACTION in creating the life I want. Intentions are critical, visualizations are awesome, and words are powerful – but all of those require action to actually create change. So this Thanksgiving, instead of expressing gratitude solely in words, how can you translate it into action?
One way of acting out your gratitude is to do something nice or helpful without any thought of reciprocation. So try being really present and finding ways to spread positivity this Thanksgiving, whether it’s helping your grandma with the dishes or letting your uncle ramble on about his job (just listening and letting someone feel really heard is one of the nicest things you can do).
And you know what, why not start doing one random act of kindness every single day? These can be small things, like holding the door for someone, paying the toll for the car behind you, or letting someone go in front of you in the Starbucks line.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard this suggestion before and thought, “That’s nice, I should do that” … and then immediately forgot and moved on with your life. And maybe you’ve even tried it before and felt the warm, contented after-effects of helping someone without asking for anything in return. But what if you made it into a practice? What if you committed to doing one random act of kindness every single day?
You don’t have to plan them out in advance. In fact, it’s better if you let the opportunities come to you because then you’re more tuned in with your environment and the people around you. Plus, when you’re doing nice things for others, you feel connected to them, even if you never speak to them directly.
The best part is, it’s a win-win situation: you’re bringing positivity to others, and you bring more peace and gratitude into your own life. Plus, the more value you put out into the world, the more value you’ll attract back to you.
How will you express your gratitude through action this Thanksgiving?
Kristen & Rachel