Basic is a company that strives to Encourage + Inspire, Healthy + Active Lives and we know that a healthy life is heavily affected by our mental health. Something that Jennifer (co-founder), and I (Nely) both do is practice gratitude. It has made us both be better business partners and happier people. A gratitude practice is just being intentional and consistent about noting what you are grateful for. It can be very informal. For example, at night before you go to bed you could think to yourself about what you are grateful for from the day. Your gratitude practice can also be more formal. Write down each day what you are grateful for and/or tell someone else about it. The part that really makes it a practice is that you do it at the same time, and you do it every day. It is a ritual for you.
At Basic in the workplace we have even implemented some gratitude practices at the office by going through our “High & Happy” at the end of the week. Our Highs are work related accomplishments of tasks that we completed- they are as small as getting the printer fix, it’s about finding the little things to be happy about or proud of each week. For Happy we do work or personal life things that made each of us happy that week. It helps us be present and more in-tune to the small steps we take as a company in the right direction and checking in with everyone to make sure that we are all living the lifestyle we strive for at Basic, inside, and outside of the office.
SO HOW CAN GRATITUDE CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
I get it…you might be skeptical. How could the simple act of writing down what you are grateful for each day really change your life that much?! From my own experience, I will share just a few of the ways my gratitude practice has changed my life.
Whenever I get anxious (which those who know me, know that this is quite often), I try to turn my focus to what I’m grateful for. Try it. It’s hard to be anxious and grateful at the same time. Gratitude wins, and anxiety fades. Having a steady gratitude practice helps me focus on the positive, rather than the what-ifs, maybes, and worries.
-BRINGS ME TO THE PRESENT
Thinking about what I’m grateful for shifts me right to now. Whatever is happening right now that is beautiful and worth pausing on for a moment. It’s easy to get lost, focusing on re-hashing the past or worrying about the future, but right now, this moment at our feet, is the only one that we have. Gratitude practice has made me feel more present.
-CHANGE FOCUS TO WHAT YOU HAVE
This kind of goes along with being more present, but with a little different twist. Sometimes when we are so goal-oriented and always striving and reaching to be better, it gets easy to forget to be grateful for what we have and what we’ve already achieved. I get caught in this trap at times. Have you ever noticed how always thinking about what you want gets very unsettling? You feel like you are lacking, but really your life could be very full. You’ve just wandered and are focusing on the wrong things. A gratitude practice helps you focus on what you have, and you start to realize just how full and amazing your life is.
INITIATE A RIPPLE EFFECT:
Starting small, finding gratitude for the simplest things leads to more gratitude. You start to see things you are grateful for everywhere. And as you carry this attitude and practice forward, you begin to attract more good stuff. Something as simple as writing down what you are grateful for each day, shifts the way you look at life. This creates space for more and more of the good stuff.
TIPS FOR HOW TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE:
- DECIDING RIGHT NOW: Choose to start your own gratitude practice. Find an empty journal or get a new one you’re excited about.
- SET A TIME: Choose the time of day you will consistently write down what you are grateful for. We find it works best as part of your morning or nighttime routine. Basically, right when you get up or right before you go to sleep.
- JUST 1-3 THINGS A DAY: Find the simplest of things you are grateful for and write them down. Going for a walk, a sunny morning, a coffee date to catch up with a friend, etc.
Even more amazing would be to tell the people you jot down in your journal that you’re grateful for them. You’ll make their day!