6 Simple Ways to Cultivate Gratitude & Banish Stress

Gratitude 3Have you ever noticed that some people seem to have a positive attitude regardless of what’s happening around them?

Like most of us, these are folks that appreciate the good times.

AND, they also seem to be able to transform the negative and focus on the positive in the face of negativity, challenge, and conflict.

They see the good in difficult people, they look at challenges & mistakes as opportunities for growth, and they appreciate what they have, even in the face of loss.

As a result, these individuals tend to be much more capable of handling the daily stressors that life brings their way!

WHY? I believe it’s because of their perspective that EVERYTHING that happens to them is something to be grateful for.

Would you like to increase your capacity for optimism & gratitude?

Would you like to maintain a more positive attitude in your life, even in the face of significant stress?

Fortunately, an attitude of gratitude CAN be cultivated with a little practice!

Here are a 6 simple ways that you can cultivate gratitude and banish stress:

Look for the Gifts

Every single experience that life offers has something to teach you, even if it’s what’s NOT to do next time! At bare minimum, you can walk away feeling grateful for knowing what doesn’t work. 🙂

Beyond that, there are always other gifts to be found as well.

For example, with a little practice & intentional self-awareness around when you are feeling stressed out by life, there are some simple questions you can ask yourself to transform a dis-empowering perspective into an optimistic, grateful attitude such as:

  • What’s the gift for me in this experience? (my personal favorite!)
  • What lessons am I learning that are of positive benefit to me?
  • What core values are missing (either on my part or someone else’s part) that need to be place next time?
  • What wisdom can I gain?
  • What can be done differently next time?

Basically, instead of “judging” the situation as good/bad, right/wrong, etc… you are “assessing” the situation so that you can learn and grow from it!

This attitude alone can greatly reduce stress and will definitely make you feel more grateful for the experience. Not only that but it’s a success mindset that will bring you MORE of what you desire!

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Consider writing about all that there is to be grateful for at least once a day in a gratitude journal.

You can even ask yourself the questions listed above to help you see the gifts in anything that didn’t go well and then document the lessons you’re learning in the form of gratitude!

One of my favorite things to do is to mentally picture everything I did throughout the day and find something to be grateful for in each experience.

I then write that down and now I have a beautiful book of good memories to reflect back upon! 🙂

Avoid Comparison & Self-Judgment

Let’s face it. We ALL make mistakes.

AND, the sad thing is that many people have a tendency to compare themselves to others and to judge, criticize, or blame themselves for their lack of “progress”.

Unfortunately, this is a very closed-minded approach because it’s not considering all the gifts, lessons, and wisdom that you are gaining! Not only that but if you’re beating yourself up, you’re going INCREASE stress and probably be pretty pessimistic.

If on the other hand, you regularly follow the previous recommendations for fostering gratitude & optimism, over time and with practice you’ll start to find more ease and grace showing up in your life.

AND, as you become more flexible, flowing, and open-minded in your perspective about your daily stressors, your life will start to flex, flow, and allow with ease too! 🙂

Practice Restorative Yoga for Stress Relief

In 15 minutes or less & with very little props or set up required, you can relax deeply & reset your nervous system with one of my favorite poses for managing stress!

Legs-Up-The-Wall (Viparita Karani)

yoga-legs-up-wallBenefits: Reduces swelling & fatigue in the legs, reduces low back pain by sending fresh flow of blood & oxygen to the pelvic bowl/hips/low lumbar, naturally addresses hypertension, & greatly reduces stress by stimulating the relaxation response in your nervous system.

Instructions:
1. Bring one end of a yoga mat or the edge of a thick blanket to rest along the edge of a wall.
2. Sit on the floor on the end of the yoga mat or edge of the blanket with one shoulder near the wall & your thighs parallel to the wall.
3. Roll down onto your elbows & back as you swing your legs up the wall.
4. Flatten your back by kissing your belly into the spine & make sure your tailbone & buttocks are not lifted off the floor (move slightly away from the wall to ensure this if need be).
5. Keep your legs straight but relaxed & bring your arms to rest out to your sides with the palms face up.
6. Close your eyes (you may place a sandbag or scarf over the eyes to help you go inward) & take several long, slow breaths.
7. Allow yourself to let go & relax deeply for anywhere between 5 – 15 minutes (it may be helpful to set a timer!).
8. When done, bend your knees toward your chest & roll to one side.
9. Take your time getting up by taking in several more deep breaths in & coming back to a seated position when you are done.

Do Not Practice This Pose If:
You have a hiatal hernia
You are menstruating
You are more than 3 months pregnant or at risk for a miscarriage
You have sciatica pain

Use Essential Oils for Gratitude & Stress Relief

There are several essential oils that can be highly beneficial for providing relief from stress! My suggestion is to choose the ones that smell or make you feel best. Everyone is different and gratefully, there’s an essential oil to suit anyone’s needs!

The oils that have been shown to provide stress relief are as follows:

lavender, lemon, ylang ylang, bergamot, grapefruit, geranium, frankincense, & marjoram

In addition, the following blends that I LOVE & use regularly have also been found to be helpful:

Focusing Blend (InTune), Joyful Blend (Elevation), Calming Blend (Serenity), Massage Blend (AromaTouch), & Grounding Blend (Balance)

My absolute favorite & TOP recommendation from all of the above is the Grounding Blend, also known as “Balance”. I simply apply 2 drops a day topically* to either the back of my neck or the pads of my feet.  🙂

*NOTE: Please test for skin sensitivity & dilute with a carrier oil if necessary!


Jess Bonasso, otherwise known as The Self Care Goddess, empowers women & busy professionals to LOVE them SELF, their HEALTH, and their LIFE!

For more information, click HERE to learn about Jess OR call 720-333-6796 TODAY to schedule a *COMPLIMENTARY* Self Care Wellness Consult!

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Speaking Your Truth: Volume II Book Launch Announced!

I am SUPER excited to announce that I am going be a published author for the first time EVER!

I will be a contributing author in an upcoming anthology called Speaking Your Truth: Volume II. This is an amazing book of inspiring stories of courage & authenticity from women around the world will be available for purchase Tuesday, August 9th on www.Amazon.com.

To learn more about the project and the other contributors, click here for more information. AND, be sure to join the Speaking Your Truth Facebook Fan Page!

My story is the second to last chapter in the book & is entitled I Choose Love. In it, I describe how I overcame the pain of my past to LOVING my life & LIVING my passion & my purpose.

Be sure to buy a copy the day of the book launch & tell me if you think my story of going from “victim to victorious” is inspiring! 🙂

 

Please share this video that I made to promote the launch of this new inspiring book with all of your friends & family & be sure to mark your calendars for Tuesday, August 9th to buy the book! 🙂

 

 

Here is what others are saying about the book:

“Speaking Your Truth presents a powerful, honest, and raw insight into real lives. The stories remind us of the power of faith and hope. I found myself applauding the courage of the authors and celebrating their personal discoveries.”

~Reverend Carolyn A. Abrams, United Methodist Minister and community activist

“The lessons in Speaking Your Truth are many and profound. Stories of triumph over childhood abuse, illness, poverty and failure are mixed with reminders that we are braver, stronger and smarter than we know and that neither money, appearance nor our own pasts can define who we are or who we can become.  The gentle beauty in this book lies in the heartbreaking, joyous and ultimately candid stories of everyday women and their ability to survive and, indeed, to blossom.”

~Diana DeLonzor, Author of Never Be Late Again, 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged

“The voice of the universe speaks to us through these courageous women who share their personal, heartfelt stories of truth, wisdom and courage. I was deeply moved. This book speaks to our souls and will stir you to feel more passion, depth and meaning in your own beautiful life. Read and share this book! It is a treasure.”

~Diana Drake Long, Author, Speaker, Coach