Our days are filled with interactions, thoughts, feelings, and experiences. While it would be wonderful if all of these could be uplifting, enjoyable, and satisfying to our souls, the reality of life is that sometimes things just suck. Bodies fail us, hearts break, comments hurt us, money causes stress, and on and on. Some days can leave you feeling drained, lonely, ugly, broken, dissatisfied, etc etc. Left unchecked, days like these can build upon themselves and being to influence our beliefs; about our bodies, our worth/value, or just the state of our life in general. So how can we deal with life’s low points (or even just a small, hurtful moment)? While there are many answers and strategies, I would like to focus on one: Creating a space of gratitude in our homes, and consequently, our hearts.
Your home is (typically) where you start and end your day. Why not take full advantage of this fact and create a space in your home that encourages appreciation for all the beauty (in all it’s forms) in your life? I call this a Gratitude Corner 🙂
By dedicating an area (could be as small as one framed image or a memento on your nightstand) to put the spotlight on something (or several things) that bring a feeling of happiness, joy, love, etc we remind ourselves of these concepts and the brain naturally starts to think of other times/things that make/made us feel this way. Once this happens, the next step is to simply say, ”thank you” (out loud, in your mind, to a specific person or perhaps even to God, however you like). The more you complete this cycle, the easier it gets for your brain to recognize opportunities throughout your day where you could say ”thank you,” and just like physical exercise builds strength and endurance, this brain exercise builds a spirit of gratitude. Having a strong spirit of gratitude is a wonderful way to balance out the hard times.
Ideas for items to include in your Gratitude Corner:
- quotes/song lyrics/a note from a loved one/a short story that makes you happy
- a framed list of 3 or more things you are grateful for…make sure to include at least one attribute you like about yourself.* If you can’t think of something, or feel awkward thinking of things, ask a friend/loved one to give you a suggestion. I’m sure they would be happy to help and you will probably find you need a bigger piece of paper 😉
- ticket stubs (movies, transportation, concert tickets, etc)
- a gratitude journal! Writing down things you are grateful for on a daily basis is like power lifting for your gratitude muscle 😀
*A quick comment on the topic of appreciating aspects of yourself (whether they be your beautiful eyes, brilliant mind, or caring spirit, etc)…please know this: Self-appreciation is not the same thing as vanity. You are a wonderful, unique creation, worthy of love and respect from others…and most importantly, yourself. How can we love/respect others properly, when our love doesn’t come from a place of wholeness and acceptance (mind, soul, and body)? I believe all three aspects of ourselves are equally important and valuable and it’s time to stop glorifying, while simultaneously, belittling & criticizing one part, and instead warmly embrace and nurture the whole.
My collection includes photos and mementos that remind me of certain people, places, and experiences, inspiring words, and a mirror (my mom and I have the same smile and I love being reminded of that), all in my favorite color scheme of gold, copper, and neutrals. As you can see, you don’t need tons of stuff or even an actual corner, just a place dedicated to building your ”gratitude muscle” 😉
I hope you all feel inspired to set up an area like this in your home/car/office. I would love to see what you create! If you feel like sharing, upload a photo to Instagram with the hashtag #ypptgratitudecorner