If you are feeling stuck, turns out practicing gratitude is a great way to get unstuck! In a few of our past episodes our guests have shared how gratitude helped get them unstuck. Charlie Hoehn shared how writing letters of gratitude to someone who might not expect it helped relieve his anxiety. Nanci Besser told us how her 32 Favors project helped her find her purpose and new work opportunities.
Helping someone else takes the focus off your own problems by putting your focus on someone else. Practicing gratitude can relieve stress, broaden your perspective and might even help you discover new opportunities.
People are practicing gratitude in so many different ways, we decided to abandon our usual podcast format, so we could share four amazing stories with you. You’ll hear about how to be grateful for each moment, how focusing on gratitude can guide all of your decisions, the power of giving a special thanks to individuals in your life you normally wouldn’t go out of your way to do and three awesome gratitude exercises to help get you unstuck! One of our guests also has a gratitude challenge for you!
Andy Hayes’ Gratitude Practice
Andy Hayes is the founder of Plum Deluxe based in Portland, OR. He practices gratitude by paying attention to the little moments that matter.
He believes that if you want to live a good and full life, observing how you spend your time and each moment is essential. You don’t have too much control right now over where you will be in 20 years, but you can control how you spend each morning.
Andy has a passion for tea. His tea ritual each morning provides him with the time to remind himself everything he is grateful for in his life. Preparing and enjoying a cup of tea is a simple practice that forces him to slow down his morning because let’s face it, there really is no way of making tea steep faster! If you are interested in creating a morning tea ritual to practice gratitude, Andy has some suggestions.
Mike Vardy’s Gratitude Practice
Mike Vardy is the founder of Productivityist based in Victoria, British Columbia. We had the pleasure of interviewing Mike a while back about how to stop doing productive and start being productive. Take a listen here.
Each year he focuses his goals around what he calls “3 Big Words.” It’s an exercise he learned from Chris Brogan. Mike uses these three words as his guiding principles for the year. They serve as basic criteria for choosing work opportunities and as a frame of reference for each of his actions. One of the words he is choosing for 2015 is gratitude.
Mike chose the word gratitude because he felt that as his business grows, he has the potential to become a little less grounded and could be tempted to get lost in his own ego. Focusing on gratitude will help him make the kinds of decisions he wants to make on a regular basis.
Mike wants to be intentionally grateful in each of his actions and decisions. He doesn’t want to be only grateful for his past accomplishments and experiences (although that’s important), he wants to make sure his present and future actions are driven by gratitude.
Brent Camalich’s Gratitude Practice
Brent Camalich is the founder of DUDE. be nice, a lifestyle apparel company based in Southern California. An integral part of his business is the DUDE. be nice Project. Brent spends a lot of his time trying to get people to help others.
It’s a platform to enable his community to say thanks to someone in their own community in a fun and creative way who is under appreciated. It might be someone they interact with on a daily basis, but don’t know all that well. Check out some of the incredible acts of gratitude captured on video inspired by the DBN Project.
Brent believes that a simple “Thank you” can creative a ripple effect of positive energy. His project encourages people to “zoom out” and focus on others instead of themselves. Showing someone gratitude who isn’t expecting it will make not only their day, but mostly likely your own as well.
Brent Camalich has a gratitude challenge for you:
Thank one person in your life you think deserves more recognition than you give them. It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone you know very well and might even be someone you normally wouldn’t go out of your way to thank.
Please share your act of gratitude on our Facebook page or in the comment section below.
UJ Ramdas’ Gratitude Practice
UJ Ramdas is one of the Co-Founders of the Five Minute Journal. We recently interviewed him about how a daily writing habit can help get you unstuck.
In addition to writing about your own thoughts and feeling each day, UJ believes there are several gratitude writing exercises that can help get you unstuck. When you practice these suggested exercises, don’t just write something down and move on. This is more about the feeling of gratitude than the actual words you are writing. Before you write, check in with your body and wait for the gratefulness feeling to hit you. Once it does, then you can write down whatever it may be that makes you feel truly grateful.
If you want to practice showing gratitude, UJ suggests three exercises to try:
- Give a toast this Thanksgiving. When you are sitting around the table with your family this Thanksgiving weekend, give a toast telling them all how thankful you are that you are with them. Make sure you look them all in the eyes and observe the deep impact of this act of gratitude.
- Take a gratitude walk/drive. Once a month, during one of your commutes to work, shut everything off and use the time to be thankful. Spend the trip thinking about all of the great things in your life and how happy you are that they are there. If any negative thoughts show up, just push them away. This is a time to reflect and be positive.
- Gratitude visit. This last one is a big one, but it can have a life-changing impact. Think of one person in your life who hasn’t been thanked enough for impacting you in a positive way. Next, write down a 300-word thank you letter to them. Really pour your heart into it. After that, call them up and ask to see them. When you meet up, read them the letter out loud to them. This one takes a lot of courage, but is definitely worth it in the end.
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