How-to Practice Gratitude on the Daily: 4 Ways to Stay Happy - Sensible Stylista

How-to Practice Gratitude on the Daily: 4 Ways to Stay Happy

In honor of National Thank You Day, I've partnered up with merci for my latest post on Sensible Stylista.  The topic's something I feel really passionate about:  gratitude.  Like most, I always try to put my best foot forward, but I don't want to BS you guys.  I have days (many, in fact) when I get down on myself, and you know what? That's totally ok.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I get insecure, jealous, and depressed from time to time.  After all, I am human!  

As much as I love social media, it can seriously be mentally damaging.  I mean, it's hard when you don't see struggle.  I've observed it in both the music & blogging worlds, and it's almost taboo to talk about - as if setbacks detract from achieved accomplishments.  This kind of thinking is beyond harmful because then you start to question your own value and worth.  You begin to think you're not talented enough, smart enough, or pretty enough.  You lose sight of reality and forget to acknowledge everything amazing in your life.  So, for today's post, we're going to talk about 4 ways to practice gratitude to stay happy on the daily.

1.  Train yourself to see the positive in every situation.  I'm not telling y'all to avoid the negative because, well, that's straight up denial at its best, but try and see the good (a glass half full, not empty kind of deal).  I know it's easier said than done, but like all good habits, you cultivate it with time. Try replacing complaints with grateful remarks to start, and remember that everything's a conscious decision on your part. 

2.  Stay in the now.  There's nothing more damaging than dwelling on the past or fixating on the future. Forgive yourself (and others) for past transgressions and move on.  Let go of the heartbreak you experienced and focus on meeting someone wonderful (if you so desire).  Learn from your mistakes and use them as stepping stones to effectively grow as a person.  Spend less time wishing for more and recognize all that you have.  If you need help staying positive, take up journaling.  Write down 5 things you are grateful for at the beginning and end of every day.  It'll help you develop a more optimistic outlook!
3.  Share your love with friends and family.  Acknowledge their efforts and genuinely thank them for all that they do by gifting them a box of yummy merci chocolates as a small token of your appreciation. Since 1965, they've offered a fabulous collection of rich, European chocolates made from the finest ingredients available, and each box contains eight unique, individually-wrapped flavors!  merci is available in grocery stores and retailers nationwide in 7-ounce and 14.1-ounce boxes.  With a name that literally means "thank you," merci encourages gratitude every day of the year.
4.  See beauty in everything.  I know it sounds cheesy as hell, but I don't care.  Let me tell you guys a little story.  A few years ago, I had a close friend, let's just call him "C." I met him while I was getting my master's degree at Juilliard, and he changed my life.  His outlook was so refreshing - he had the most amazing attitude, and it totally rubbed off on me.  He appreciated every tiny thing and never failed to point it all out.  

I won't ever forget our first hang.  We went to a cafe to grab lunch, and he thought it'd be cool to eat in Central Park.  I didn't really want to go, but I didn't want to seem like a Scrooge so I (grudgingly) went.  I remember thinking... 

"Omg, I bet it's so dirty there!  Where are we going to sit?"
"Leaves are going to get in my pasta!"
"I hope it's not super busy!  I don't want to deal with a huge crowd."
"Ugh, my shoes are like 5 inches high - I'm gonna die if we walk more!"

Well, when we got there, he kept commenting on the pretty leaves - it was fall at the time - and weather. I realized then and there that my poopy attitude kept me from enjoying, well, everything. There I was making a new friend, people watching, enjoying delicious food, and absorbing nature, yet I had a frown on my face?  Yeah, not good.  

Moral of the story: if you're looking to focus on the bad, there will be a sh*t ton of it.  You, and you alone, are responsible for your happiness so strive to see the good in all situations to make the most of your life.  Be grateful for all that you have because someone out there wishes he or she could be in your position, and remember that it's all about perspective and attitude.

Sponsored by merci, but all opinions are my own!

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