Search Results for "gratitude" — 770 posts

12 Habits to Adopt to Make This Your Best Year Yet

Many of us head into the New Year with big goals and ambitions. We think about everything that seems to be lacking in our lives and imagine ourselves far happier and more fulfilled on the other side of massive change.

There’s no denying that certain accomplishments can amp up our life satisfaction, but I’ve found that our daily habits are the biggest contributor to our happiness.

You can have a job that excites you, the best body of your life, and the perfect partner for you, but none of it will fully satisfy you if you don’t also prioritize the …

The Simple Tools That Have Saved My Mental Health

“Think of the world…you carry within yourself and set it above everything that you notice about you. Your inmost happening is worth your whole love, that is what you must somehow work at, and not lose too much time and too much courage in explaining your attitude to people.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

My twenties taught me many things about navigating the outside world as an adult. Ironically, the biggest lesson was learning to pay close attention to my inner world.

I turned thirty years young this year. Being on the cusp of a new decade feels momentous.

Over these last …

Compassion Is the Key to Overcoming Hardship (and Insomnia)

“You can never know how many lives you’ve touched, so just know it’s far more than you think. Even the tiniest acts of love, kindness, and compassion can have a massive ripple effect. You have made the world a better place, even if it doesn’t seem like it.” ~Lori Deschene

I never had trouble sleeping until I got divorced. I never had a nervous breakdown either. Bankruptcy, fighting for custody of my children, and losing my business and my home definitely pushed things over the edge.

What made matters worse is that unabated, stress-related sleep deprivation can lead to …

When You’re Tired of Trying: Lessons in Mindfulness from a Woodpecker

“The antidote to exhaustion isn’t rest. It’s wholeheartedness.” ~David Whyte

Crouched down in a cold clump of leaves in the woods, I watch a woodpecker. Persistent, unbothered, moving up and down a tree next to me. It is methodically tapping its beak bit-by-bit looking for something to eat. I watch and wonder… Aren’t you tired of this relentless pursuit? Tired of smashing your face again and again with the odds stacked against you? How fleeting disappointment must be for you.

Not me. I take one bump and the disappointment reels through me. I desperately seek ease, my eyes always halfway …

How to Avoid Emotional Burnout This Holiday Season

Whether you celebrate or not, the holiday season can be stressful for many reasons. From experiencing difficult emotions like grief, anger, or resentment that seem to resurface out or nowhere, to the pressures of making everything perfect for everyone, there’s a lot of opportunity for emotional burnout.

I’m no stranger to painful emotions re-emerging around this time of the year. Christmas used to trigger in me the feelings of loneliness and guilt for years, following my move across the country and away from my family and friends.

Moving was a conscious choice my husband and I made soon after …

The Boundaries That Helped Me Stop Being a Doormat

“Boundaries are a part of self-care. They are healthy, normal, and necessary.” ~Doreen Virtue

I’m really nice. Too nice actually. I’ve even been something of a doormat in my life.

But what can I say? I was trained that way.

There weren’t a lot of boundaries in our home when I was growing up. Instead, my addict mom was either checked out, partying, or raising hell, so I became the adult in the room. I was at her service most of the time.

By age six, I was regularly talking my parents through their fights. I’d moved on to career …

If You Feel Stuck, Stressed, or Burnt Out, Nature Is the Solution

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in order.” ~John Burroughs

Nature is a big part of my life, as I spend a lot of time outdoors.

When I first started hiking and backpacking, I liked being able to explore new places and get some exercise outside.

In my twenties, I traveled throughout the Western United States hiking in the mountains and discovering the incredible desert. I moved a lot, I tried new things, and I kept craving more time in nature.

Over the years, I started to realize that the benefits …

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How to Reap the Benefits of Post-Traumatic Growth

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” ~Hemingway

We all know of post-traumatic stress (PTS) but how many of us know of post-traumatic growth (PTG), a very hopeful and attainable way of life beyond the loss, adversity, and trauma we’ve experienced? It’s a term that was coined in the 1990s and is becoming more popular now as positive psychology and the specific area of resiliency-building have gained momentum in our society.

What is post-traumatic growth? It’s positive change and growth that comes about as a result of an adversity or loss. It is channeling …

How to Love an Addict (Who Doesn’t Love Themselves)

I grew up in a family of high-functioning addicts. We looked like the perfect family, but as we all know, looks can be deceiving. No one was addicted to drugs, so that obviously meant that we had no problems. Cigarettes, alcohol, food, and work don’t count, right?

I have come to realize that what we are addicted to is nowhere near as important as the admission that we’re addicted to something. When we try to make ourselves feel better by telling ourselves that gambling or porn or beer is nowhere near as bad as crack or heroin, we are …

Healing from the Trauma of Narcissistic Abuse

“Don’t blame a clown for acting like a clown. Ask yourself why you keep going to the circus.” ~Unknown

When I first experienced narcissistic abuse as an adult, it was a at a time when the term “narcissistic abuse” was not so heard of or understood.

I had met a handsome, intelligent, charismatic, and charming man, and as is typical in abusive relationships, had been completely overwhelmed by the intensity and ‘love’-overload of the early stages.

Before I could catch my breath, though, the nitpicking started, and so did the heated arguments, the jealousy, the cutting contact, and disappearing for …

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We all know that we should be grateful. It’s right up there on the list of things we’re supposed to do regularly like get enough sleep and exercise regularly. But we don’t always prioritize the things that are good for us, which means we don’t often get to enjoy the benefits.

For many, gratitude doesn’t become a habit until life gives a reason to …

Honor Your Progress and the Path That Led You Here

“In time and with water, everything changes.” ~Leonardo da Vinci

This is a story about our past and progress. It’s about holding on and letting go, moving forward by moving inward, and time. And like any good story, it’s a love story in the end. I’m talking about the kind of love that eases suffering and restores peace. The love we show ourselves through patience and unconditional acceptance.

It begins with a box in the back of my hall closet, tucked neatly beneath the snorkeling equipment and board games we always forget about. I’ve moved that box from Texas …

Finding the Courage to Go After What You Want Out of Life

“Just because you’re not doing what other people are doing, that doesn’t mean you’re failing or falling behind. You’re charting your own course and staying true to yourself, even though it would be easier to join the crowd. You’re creating a life you can fall in love with instead of falling in line. You’re finding the courage to do what’s right for you, even though it’s uncertain and scary and hard. Give yourself some credit, because these are all reasons to be proud.” ~Lori Deschene

I wouldn’t call myself a laid-back person. I have anxiety that leads me to

Do You Accept Your Partner’s Attempts to Repair?

“I am not fully healed, I am not fully wise, I am still on my way. What matters is that I am moving forward.” ~Yung Pueblo

According to Dr. John Gottman, PhD, successful repair attempts are a “happy couple’s secret weapon.”

An attempt to repair is when our partner makes a mistake and then makes an attempt to fix it in their own way.

Their attempt may look very different than what we may want, and we may be tempted to react negatively, but we have a choice to catch ourselves and consciously choose a different response.

That’s part of …

4 Simple Habits That Can Soothe Your Anxious Mind

“I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

There is so much noise and overwhelm these days it’s almost impossible to not feel crippling anxiety on a regular basis.

With a march of commitments, appointments, and obligations that never seem to end, we’re a nation of chronically stressed and overwhelmed.

We often spend our lives in a rush, running on autopilot, completing task after task until we finally collapse into bed utterly exhausted. Amidst the noise and demands our minds are scattered, in a perpetual state of thinking, …

It’s a Myth That We Can Just “Get Over” Pain and Loss

“There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human—in not having to be just happy or just sad—in the nature of being able to be both broken and whole, at the same time.” ~C. JoyBell C.

“I just feel like it’s never ending… like I should be more over it by now,” my friend says, her eyes looking down at her mug of tea. She lost a loved one three years ago in tragic circumstances.

Her words make me sad, and there are layers to my sadness: I’m sad for her loss, her grief, for the difficulty she …

When Things Go Wrong, I Remember This Day

“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.” ~Richard Bach

I’d wanted to visit Alaska nearly my entire life. I’d always wanted to see the vast landscape, majestic scenery, and awesome wildlife. So as a single, middle-aged mom with two boys aged fourteen and twelve, we went.

It was going to be an epic trip—travel from our home in the Midwest to Anchorage, a few days to Denali and back, then down to the coast and a cruise all the way to Vancouver. So …

Living with Depression and Anxiety: How to Lessen the Pain

“I am bent, but not broken. I am scarred, but not disfigured. I am sad, but not hopeless. I am tired, but not powerless. I am angry, but not bitter. I am depressed, but not giving up.” ~Unknown

Depression and anxiety. Two words we hear often, but unless we have actually lived with them, we cannot come close to understanding the tremendous impact they can have on one’s quality of life.

Depression and anxiety can make people feel as if they are worthless and better off dead. What a horrible plague. But it is 100 percent possible to tame these …

What If Everyone Were Conspiring to Help You?

“The sage perspective accepts every outcome and circumstance as an opportunity.” ~Shirzad Chamine

No doubt you’re familiar with paranoia. In the modern world, it’s hard not to be. And as Joseph Heller wrote, just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not after you. But there is another way to look at the world. What if you could see every situation in your life as a positive conspiracy, aimed at aligning you with your highest good?

This might seem outlandish, but it’s not as crazy as it seems. If you imagined that the person annoying or challenging you was …