On Meditation and Expressing Gratitude

The challenges from last week went very well!

That’s especially true for the sleep challenge. I’m in much better moods lately because of the improvements to my quality of sleep.

I’m also very pleased with my productivity in work and all my other responsibilities here at home. I’m really glad I was able to meet the deadline to reopen the Etsy shop this week! I love how the redesign turned out and I’m excited about the plans I have for the future. Check it out here. If you find something you like, use the code REOPENING21 for 21% off your purchase (valid until 02/16/21).

And now, onto this week. I’m tackling another two wellness challenges based on The Science of Well-being course.

The first habit is practicing meditation.

The reason for meditation is because we tend towards feelings of anxiety or worry when we just let our minds wander. We can start thinking about future what ifs, or recalling painful memories from the past, and our bodies actually respond to that as if we’re currently experiencing those things right now. So calming our minds and forcing it to stay in the present, can actually decrease our stress levels.

So, in preparing my Happy Journal this week, I chose to steer away from the colourful spreads and choose something more toned down. Something more calming. Again, this journal is the Happy Life guided Journal that I use for wellness; journaling and gratitude. I used the Choose Happy and Farmhouse sticker books.

I actually found this challenge to be quite difficult. As an introvert, I’m in my head a lot. And being at home with kids meant I have a lot to process mentally. Though my thoughts were mostly positive, I found it hard to silence my mind in order to meditate. However, I did try a few other things with varying success.

First, I tried turning off my thoughts while in the shower. I would listen to the sound of the water which drowned out my thoughts. But that lasted only a minute at most. Perhaps that would work in time with more practice.

I also tried using the Abide app. I’ve used it in the past as a way to calm down at night before bed. I enjoy the meditations in general but they just weren’t helping this week.

Lastly, I tried instrumental music. There’s a channel on YouTube called Soothing Relaxation that I’ve been listening to for a few years. This particular video has the sound of softly falling rain with piano music. It is always lovely and calming to listen to and I had the most success with that.

The second habit is expressing gratitude.

This habit has to do with expressing gratitude to others; thanking them for the positive impact they’ve had in our lives. Doing this not only increases our happiness because of that social connection and the emotions involved, but it also increases the happiness of the other person as well which is very cool.

This task from the course wasn’t assigned as a habit to be done daily. It was supposed to be a letter that is written and shared with one person, in person. Of course, that’s not possible right now because of Covid. So, I thought instead that I would express my gratitude to the people in my proximity at home – my family, as well as the friends that I am in contact with regularly. This is something I do often anyway, but I enjoyed doing so intentionally this week.

What actions can you take today to practice mindfulness and gratitude?

Joy & Peace, Sister!

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