Having a gratitude filled perspective isn’t something many of us learn in life. If you have grown up this way, you’re ahead of a lot of us, and I’m jealous of you! If you’re like the many of us who need to work at this, or even have to realize the need to work on it, this is for you!
As someone who is primarily a positive person, I get asked sometimes how I do it. If I could answer this question and give away some kind of magic secret in a 2 minute conversation, I would, but that’s not the reality of seeing your world through a grateful lens. Or as I call it, seeing the world through your Gratitude Glasses.
Having a heart full of gratitude helps you see your cup as half full! When you start going down Complaint Road and Woe Is Me Lane, it’s easy to snowball and get to a place where nothing feels good enough. This is where negativity lies, self doubt lives and the feelings of “why doesn’t anything go my way,” overwhelm you. . The truth is, it’s a practice to have a grateful heart; you have to work on it and it takes time. When the negative thoughts start creeping in, you need to actively remind yourself of the blessings that surround you, and the cup that’s currently half empty slowly shifts to becoming half full.
Mental Exercise time 💡💪: Doing this helps me remain present and reminded of the blessings in my life- when you wake up each morning, say 3 things to yourself that you’re grateful for. It only takes moments, but it starts your day off on the right foot and with a grateful heart ♥️
I’ll start: I’m grateful for 1️⃣ The health Baby Brunovsky has and the positive visits we keep having about her 2️⃣ My relationship with my husband and how in sync we are 3️⃣ That today is the last day of work until 1/4/21! Wooo! ✨✨
Now it’s your turn! What 3 things are you grateful for today? Can you try to start each morning this week with this exercise? It’ll start your day off with reminders of how blessed you are, even if in a tough season, and give you the opportunity to proceed into the day wearing your Gratitude Glasses.
I don’t know about you guys, but we’re well into six weeks of quarantine and I have definitely hit that mark where sometimes I’m feeling a little stressed out and not as positive as normal.
While of course coronavirus itself scares me, most of my family/friends and I have been lucky enough to remain at home and #StayHome. I am in a career however, where COVID-19 has doubled my workload at times. There’s been a few 12 and 13 hour days, and pairing that with a pandemic, can do a number on anyone. The last few days I’ve been feeling very stressed out and rather than letting negativity and anxiety takeover, I began writing out a list of things I can do to put my mind at ease and to promote a more positive mindset.
A huge part of why I like sharing some details of my life on social media, as well as in this blog, is because there have been plenty of obstacles I’ve gone through or life lessons I’ve learned that make me think:
If I’m going through this, I’m sure somebody else has or will too… and if I can share something that resonates with them, Why not put it out there?
That’s where this post comes in: I want to share some things that have helped me during quarantine that maybe you haven’t considered doing or haven’t thought of to get your mind, body and spirit on the same page while we’re all going a little Corona crazy. If there’s something not on this list that you have found to be helpful during the pandemic, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it to the list!
The last thought I’d like to leave off on is this: we are responsible for our own attitudes, mindsets and how we allow situations/ people/ setbacks/ frustrations impact us. Every morning we can choose how to start the day and as obstacles pop up we have the choice to go over, under, around, or through it. I use some of these things below when trying to power through it:
16 Ways to Shift Your Attitude During Stressful Times
Go for a walk/run or get physical– Exercise helps manage stress! Ever have a rough day and workout afterword? It always turns my mood around! If you take a stroll outside, try and be present when you’re out in nature. Listen to the birds, feel the breeze, notice the colors of the leaves- putting yourself in the moment while taking in what’s around you can immediately calm you down.
Meditate/ Pray- I love doing the below exercise! My favorite part about it? You can do it anywhere, in any setting, at any moment!
Get good sleep– Seriously- is anyone else on a really funky sleep routine due to Covid-19?? That’s a hard yes for me! My goal has been to get at least 7 hours a night.
Download an app like Headspace– Headspace walks you through mindful meditations day or night to help you relax and center yourself. I use this app usually when going to sleep and the breathing techniques are amazing and have me out in minutes!
Start your day with gratitude– this is my morning GO TO- before your feet hit the floor, note 3 things you’re thankful for for that day!
Take a break– many of us are at home right now. It’s okay to take a break from your work space (just like you might when in the office). Go for a walk, stop by your “break room” aka kitchen and change the scenery every once in awhile. If your screen is doing a number to your eyes, you can also purchase my favorite blue light glasses from Amazon by visiting my Aurora Loves Page.
Unplug from electronics– Leave your phone in another room, shut off the Tv, time how long you’re allowed to scroll, whatever it is you need to do, breaking away from your electronics is A-OK in my book!
Put a feel good playlist together! I made The Weekly Sparkle Quarnatine Playlist specifically for you that you can download instantly on Apple Music of Spotify!
Find ways to Give Back– helping others immediately makes you feel good and so many people can use the support right now! Look up your local Volunteer Center to see who needs what!
Clean up a small area– I love tidying up a space that could use the love. This might have been a weekend task in the past, but since we’re home now, I may take 15 minutes and cleanup a space I may not typically think to. It’s proven- when you’re in a cleaner environment, your stress reduces significantly.
Start a new show! Hiiii Netflix!!!
Start a new hobby or pick up an old one– I plan on doing some arts and crafts this week to flex my creative muscle! Why not do some of the things during this time that make you happy/excited? You can catch me making some jewelry this weekend!
Journal– there is no right or wrong way to write down what’s in your head! Grab a pen and paper and get your thoughts out- sometimes it helps to de-clutter your brain and let your emotions out. I call this “brain-dumping” and use it to organize my thoughts!
Read a new book– I just got Love Does by Bob Goff and I can’t wait to read it! Bob is truly inspirational!!
TAKE A NAP– this one is for your Nap Queen over here. Naps reset mindsets/allow you to shut your brain off.
Take a Breather and Give Yourself Grace– You’re allowed to have a bad day, you’re allowed to have a moment you wish you handled better, you’re allowed to feel crazy right now! FEEL everything you’re feeling. None of us have gone through this before, so you’re feeling is 100% okay and allowed. The important part of feeling stress, however, is that we don’t allow it to completely take over and lead us down a negative path.
I hope there’s something you can grab off this list and try! Let me know what you’ve done and if it’s not here I’ll add it for others to see too!
I’ve had this thought in mind to share for quite some time, because I think it’s so important to remember. We spend so much time worrying about the past and planning for the future, that now more than ever, living in and appreciating the NOW is fleeting.
Anyone else struggle to remain present? 🙋♀️
Lately I’ve been thinking about how personally I’ve been so laser focused on the future and what’s next that enjoying the journey is getting lost. We’re currently living in “the good old days” and I don’t want this time to pass without truly enjoying it.
Any Office fans out there? (Haha I know, there’s literally a billion of us)! One of my favorite scenes in the enter series is this one: Good Old Days- Andy Bernard He says:
“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the Good Old Days, before you actually left them.”
As he says this he flashes back to good times with his coworkers and moments that at the time didn’t seem very important, but he now realizes that those moments were in fact “the good old days.”
Ahhh… this is literally what I’m talking about here!!! I think in our current world where our heads are buried in our phones and we’re always on the go, leaping to “what’s next,” it’s so easy to let the important moments pass by unnoticed. In thinking about this, I’ve decided to do a few things to get back to being more present, and I hope some of these tips can help you too!
Things I’m going to do to be more present:
Put my phone away when out to dinner or when spending quality time with family and friends
Writing out or acknowledging the small or large blessings of the day that I’m grateful for
Leave my phone upstairs when spending quality time with my husband at night as we wind down
Worry less about posting on social media “in the moment” and actually enjoy the thing it is that I reallllywant to post about
Listen better. Rather than worrying about the next thing on my to-do list, where I need to be, or who is texting me, I’m want to do a better job at listening when in conversation
PHEW- That’s a lot 😅
What is list screams to me is: Put your phone down, lift your head up, open your ears, be where you are, focus on what’s in front of you, worry less about what’s ahead and my favorite and the most important piece- count your blessings
I’d love to hear what some of you do to remain present! If you have something that works well for you, please drop it in the comments!
Lately I’ve been realizing how much of my own happiness/disappointments within myself are based around pleasing others or living up to their expectations of me. I find myself feeling stressed over what someone might think, how they took this or that, whether or not they think that is good enough, etc etc etc.
Sounds exhausting, right?
This is where my “SO WHAT” mantra comes in. So what if you’re not living up to others expectations of you, does that matter? Are their expectations realistic and do they match what’s important to you?
What actually matters is whether or not you are (or are becoming) the version of yourself that you went to be!! It only matters if you are living up to your own expectations. And guess what? If you’re not, you have the power, every-single-day, to change that. Remember that what others expect of us isn’t always about us- it’s can be about a fear, or an insecurity of theirs that they’re projecting on you or needing from you. Others expectations often have nothing to do with us specifically. And just how others do it to us, it’s important to remember that sometimes we can be doing that to others as well. It’s not easy to be mindful of, but if you are, you’re ahead of the curve!
On the flip side, what’s even crazier to think, is that majority of the time, the expectations we think others have about us, don’t even exist! We are subconsciously making things “heavier” than they need to be! Somewhere along the line in our relationship other people, we may have developed a feeling of what they expect from us as friends, siblings, co-workers, partners, colleagues, acquaintances, etc etc etc. Most of the time, however, you’ll find, the things people love and value in you are a lot less complicated than what you think you have to live up to.
Again for those who need to read this again:
…the things people love and value in you are a lot less complicated than what you think you have to live up to.
Being honest, I read that for myself again, too.
To overthinking a little less, letting go of the heavy feelings, giving ourselves more grace and sharing that grace with others too…
“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.” – The Scarlet Letter
Ah….. I know I always start my blogs this way when something really hits me, but, WOW!!!!! This perfectly sums up how I’ve been feeling lately- like this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders- yet, I had no idea how heavy the weight was until it was gone. It literally feels like I’m viewing my life differently and in a more positive light than even a few weeks ago. My mood feels different, my energy has shifted. I mean, I feel… happy.
Don’t get me wrong, I try to approach life and others in a positive light as much as anyone else might, but something shifted a few months (maybe even a year back), and I was experiencing all this negative self talk. I touched on this a few postings ago in, Let’s Talk Self Talk and I really feel like this blog was the tip of the Positivity Iceberg that I was about to meet.
(Positivity Iceberg, noun: a made up term I just created to define the beginning of feeing positive, and so much more is to come underneath it) 🙂
So what was this shift?
Let me start by telling you why the shift needed to happen. The feeling of letting others “stuff” effect your mood, actions and thoughts- this can be a killer. These feelings have been something weighing me down, making me second guess myself, keeping me up some nights and overall killing my positive way of thinking. When people would say something negative to me, or even about others, or make a “dig” to me or a side comment, it would really effect me. When did I start worrying so much about what others thought? Especially the negative things, and why did I start putting blame on myself and putting so much thought into their thoughts over my own truth?
After overanalyzing too many situations and nearing a breaking point, I said enough. It is EXHAUSTING to think in the ways I just described. Right? I’m sure many of you reading this are probably like,”Wow… Aurora that’s rough.” While others are thinking, “WOW, I thought I was alone in this.” This blog is for both of you.
About a month and a half ago, I began doing the work to figure out why I’ve felt this way, and how to stop it. Sometimes you need to walk through the tough things to figure them out, rather than avoid and suppress them, so that’s what I did- I began walking.
Friends, it’s every semi-corny quote you’ve ever read… it’s the ones you read and think, “that is so cheesy...” or “yeah great point but doesn’t apply to me.” And here they are:
“What people think of you is none of your business.”
“Nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves.”
“You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.”
“A wise man once said nothing.”
“Most people barely know themselves, so what does it matter what they think of you”
GUYSSSS…. these cheesy quotes are not BS! They’re actually true… and I think talking through how I was feeling and applying them to my own life and circumstances caused some kind of light bulb to go off… It does not matter what people think of you, especially the bad things they are projecting onto you from you own experiencing. We all have our “stuff” : Our history, the way we were raised, the beliefs hardwired into us, our insecurities and judgements. Every single person has this “stuff” that they are possibly able to project onto you. Fitting you into THEIR narrative.
THIS DOES NOT MAKE IT A REALITY.
I’m gonna say it louder for the people in the back…
THIS DOES NOT MAKE IT A REALITY.
And until you believe that, to your core, you won’t be able to move beyond these thoughts. When I’m telling you I literally feel lighter, and happier, I mean it. The thoughts I felt were suffocating me at times I now see were projections onto me of others “stuff,” not necessarily truths that I have to over analyze within myself. Understanding this has changed my self talk, and has made me feel so happy and positive approaching each new day. It’s CRAZY!!!!I get teary eyed even thinking about it.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t times where you need to own making mistakes or accept the invite to an argument you should attend… I’m not talking about those things. More than I believe in self-love and acceptance, I also believe in owning your crap and apologizing/ talking through difficult things with people who matter to you. So in these instances, I think it’s important to remember it could matter what people think of you and that it’s right to discuss what needs working through. I also think it’s important to remember when we’re projecting our own “stuff” onto others. We all do it. All of us. But being aware of it is the first step to not projecting onto others when we feel the need to.
The other piece of this is that it’s okay to feel the words and actions of others, even if they sting, but the important piece is to remind yourself that those words and actions may be more about them. Will I find myself dwelling on these things in the future, sure, but I feel more confident and feeling them and letting them go, rather than holding onto them like I used to.
All in all, friends, this feeling is amazing. And if I didn’t take the time to pause, think and talk through it all, I don’t think I’d be here. It’s only more validating when I hear close friends say they notice a lightness in me- if that’s not proof, I don’t know what is. If you feel like you’re going through something similar, don’t hesitate to send me a message. I’m happy to share more in detail about my path to help you maybe get on your own.
Ah, I feel free. Absolute FREEDOM from the exhausting and overwhelming feelings I’ve had. And most of all, I feel proud that I took the steps to arrive here.
Let’s Talk SELF TALK. Anyone else read the above and think… WOW… that IS how I talk to those people in my life! And now stop for a second, and ask yourself, “Do I always talk to myself this way?…” with understanding, excitement, happiness, patience etc etc etc. The answer is a hard NOin my book. We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to internal thoughts and self talk.
I’ll never be good enough
I don’t look the way I should
I hate my body
I didn’t do as well as others expect me to
There is no coming back from that mistake
I’m not strong enough
I’m not enough
I can’t control my stress
I’m not lovable
I’ll be alone forever
I’ll never be as good as them
I’m not perfect
I need to be perfect
How many more things could you add to the list if I left it open ended? I guarantee by the time I proofread this 2-3x I will have added a few more to the list. It’s SO EASY for us to have these self-defeating thoughts, because the world (now more than ever) always has reminders of how we can be better. How to be a better mom or dad, a better employee, how to get bigger boobs or that you need a flat stomach- everywhere you turn (ESPECIALLY social media), we are surrounded by others Highlight Reels of what “perfect” or “ideal” looks like. I talk about this in a past blog called: The Reel is not Real.
So in a world that is always showing us how we can be better, how do we keep our minds in check to what living a good life looks like to us personally?
We have to flip the script.
Yes, the script in your mind, the years of experiences that have molded you and your thoughts- it’s time to flip the script and remind yourself that you are a human and capable of amazing things, even if you’re not perfect, have made mistakes, don’t look this way or act this way, have this job, achieved this or that… IT DOES NOT MATTER. These things do not define your life and dwelling on them only robs you of living your BEST, happiest and fulfilled life.
You all know me, when I write, the topic usually has to do with something that is close to my heart and something either I or someone I know has or is going through. I think this is one topic I can say, ALL of us struggle with. We all have our own thoughts and preconceived notions of ourselves and what others expect of us. Lately, I’ve been in my own head with negative self talk; comparing myself to others success, doubting my growth and path in my exercise journey… honestly have thought, “why am I even doing this?”
YOU GUYS—- WHY do we do this? Not the “this” I’m talking about above, but THIS… as in what this entire blog is about. This self-defeating discussion with ourselves.
WHY do we do this?
Well friends, I’m committing to breaking the habit and here’s why: I am tired of suffocating moments of joy and successes by shining a light on my worries and insecurities. The truth is 99% of the things we over analyze, beat ourselves up over or stay up at night worrying about, don’t happen. This is a fact. So why not work on putting things in place to shake these thoughts as they start approaching and work toward more positive self talk all together?
Here are some tips on how to get started:
I’m starting with the above, and one tip I’d like to add is: If you’re having a moment of overwhelming negative self talk and you need to kick it, phone a friend! There are a handful of people I know I can turn to when my self talk is all out of wack! These are the people who speak to you the way you would normally speak to others: patiently, kindly, lovingly, etc and they’re also your reminder of how much you are a rock star at life! Tap into these people- because the people we trust the most outside of ourselves is our tribe.
All in all, I want to work on challenging my negative self talk, figuring out where it’s coming from, and shifting my perspective to more positive thoughts and feelings. But just like with anything, in order to get better at it, you need to practice it daily, so I plan on doing just that!
Here is what I need to know you!
What struggles do you have with Self Talk?
Do you have an effective way of talking yourself out of Negative Self Talk?
Do you like helpful checklists like the above to reference in the future?
Thanks for the read, friends! Let’s try talking to ourselves the way we talk to others: with love, support, patience and excitement! We really do deserve it.
“Keep Taking Time For Yourself Until You’re YouAgain”
Did this hit me like a ton of bricks or what? WARNING: Lots of honesty in this post. Over the last few months, I haven’t been feeling much like myself. And when I say like myself, I mean, the person whom I thought I was; the person people tell me I am: happy, cheerful, positive, go-getting, someone who starts each day with a bright perspective etc. I know I’ve talked about it here before, but I couldn’t 100% put my finger on what it was that felt different. All I knew for certain was that I wanted a change, because something just didn’t feel right. So these last few weeks, I began asking myself:
“When was the last time you felt most like you and what were the things in your life that were making you happy?”
I pulled out my handy note-book where I do my “brain dumps,” and began jotting things down. When I felt the most like me, I was:
Getting in some kind of physical activity multiple times a week (going for walks, going to the gym, karate etc).
Spending time each day talking to God and feeling a stronger connection with him.
Getting sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.My GOSH this is a big one!! My normal bedtime these days is anytime after 11:00pm. Even on school work nights! This is partially because I like spending time with my husband and catching up on our day, but it’s also partially because I have a hard time falling sleep.
Blogging regularly/connecting with readers.
Volunteering and giving back to my local community as often as I could
Eating/Drinking well. Less fast food, more fruits and veggies, less adult beverages, more Crystal Lite (hah, you expected me to say water?? NOPE)!
When I felt most like me I was Confident.
And lastly, spending time with people who inspire, motivate, challenge and excite me when I’m around them!
PHEW, what a list huh? Did any of those resonate with you too? I don’t feel like I have lost any of these completely, but they were all part of my normal routine and contributed to my overall happiness… my overall ME. So in the last few weeks, and especially this week, I’m starting to feel like I’m getting some of the old me back. It’s all of the above and making the time for them- not making excuses as to why they’re not a part of my life at the moment.
So I have to ask, when was the last time you felt like YOU? If the answer isn’t right now, I challenge you to have the courage to stop what you’re doing, and dig a little bit as to where you have been, and how to get yourself back.
My process began right before my last post, When You’re Tired, Rest. and is continuing each and every day. If there are things you need to pump the brakes on in your life to find you and your happiness again, do it. Break the plans, say “No” to things that get in the way of your path, have courage when thrusting yourself back into something that might no longer feel comfortable and r e l a x. It won’t all happen overnight, so remember to have patience with yourself. And if you need someone to help you figure out how, I’m only a few key strokes away.
Do you see the awkward shape of this photo? It’s because it’s a fortune from a fortune cookie I opened about a week ago. I got this one, while my husbands fortune said something about coming into money soon and my friends fortune gave her winning lottery numbers. Compared to them, how on earth did I get the deep fortune?! And since when did fortunes become so inspiring? This specifically meant a lot to me, because I’ve had some things weighing on my heart, and they have to do with forgiveness.
I’m not someone who holds grudges. Usually, if something is bothering me, or I’m upset, I share it. To me, there aren’t many things stronger than a good conversation that is open and honest. Even if it’s hard, it hurts, leads to an argument- talking these things out eventually makes relationships stronger, or shows you who may not belong in your life.
Of course, I wasn’t always this way, but over the years, I’ve learned to give people the benefit of the doubt, and welcome conversation before simply writing someone off. I’m sure this goes along with growing up and maturing… but I also know there are plenty of people out there who don’t take an approach similar to mine.
So who do I need to forgive?!
It’s the juicy part, sure, but it’s also the part that would distract the point of this blog. And what is the point exactly?It’s simple: if there is someone in your life that you need to forgive, you just need to do it. Even if they owe you an apology, but their ego will never allow for them to see it, or if you know they feel remorse, but the battle of who was right and who was wrong isn’t worth it- you just need to forgive.
The truth is, when I flipped to the above thought in my You Are A Badass Daily Calendar today, it couldn’t have been more spot on to how I’ve already been feeling. If we sit and wait for validation or apologies proving we were right in a situation we felt we were wronged, we’re wasting our time. Time we could be happy and feeling grateful for the positive relationships in our lives.
So I am choosing to forgive– leaving negativity at the door and moving forward into a more positive way of thinking about those I’ve needed to forgive… and then I’m letting it go.
I’m letting it go.
Who in your life do you need to forgive and let go of negative feelings about?! A close friend, an acquaintance, someone you don’t speak to anymore? Forgive them. For yourself, forgive them. Today. Just believe me.
The last few months I have been researching gratitude and prayer journals because I knew my life had been:
Go Go GO
… and I wanted to slow it down. I’ll be the first to say I know I have a blessed life, so stopping and being grateful for the goodness around me is something I wanted to make a priority. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy, just a few pages where I could visit each day and jot down what I was most grateful for. The other thing I wanted to be more intentional about, was my relationship with God & taking a few moments each day to write out what I was praying for, focus on a verse that stood out to me and lastly, write out what I’d like God to help me learn/work on in my life.
Guys- I found the jackpot!!!!
These journals serve as both my person gratitude check and check in with God… & um, they’re GORG!!!! 😻
They’re perfect! I plan on using them both starting tomorrow morning as a way I want to start my day. Beginning each morning with a grateful heart and open conversation with God is something I know will start my day off on the right, positive note. If you’re looking to increase the happiness in your life, you can start by looking at all the blessings you already have!!
I think it’s so easy to fall into negative patterns and lead a life that feels pessimistic and like there’s a rain cloud constantly over your head. Sometimes I find myself going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of negativity, self doubt and gossip. I believe that when you have a grateful heart, put God first and are open about your struggles/needs/imperfections, you can truly begin to see a change in yourself.This is my hope anyway, since this is going to be a practice I start today in search of that!
Don’t have a relationship with God (or any higher power)? That’s okay– if it’s for the simple fact that you don’t know where to start, I’d say this journal is a great beginning mark. I also downloaded This Bible App, because it’s free, offers daily verses and inspiration and sends you daily notifications to remind you it’s time to get your God Time in! ☑️ Honestly, it’s great.
I know we’re all on a journey to better ourselves (I’m sure that’s how you made your way to my page), so gratitude is where I want to focus next. It’s all a part of my wanting to Live Intentionally and form a life of gratitude, reflection, growth and living my best life.
I’d love to hear if you use a gratitude journal or practice gratitude in your own way in the comments! I’ll be sure to write a follow up on how the journaling is going…
To being grateful for (and aware of!) life’s blessings,