Have you ever found yourself in a place (at work, in a store, at a family function, etc.) where one person has single-handedly changed the energy in a room? Can you think of someone who is chronically happy or motivating (or on the other hand, consistently angry, anxious, or downright depressing)?
I was recently at a hardware store and a woman was infuriated about something. She was screaming at an employee - you could feel the tension within the aisles. People were staring. The woman was livid. The employee? Embarrassed.
At that moment, I realized the customer’s frustration. I also had empathy for the employee - everyone makes mistakes. It was so eye-opening how quickly this woman transformed a nice little Wednesday evening at the hardware store into a moment of stress for so many people.
The whole place instantly felt cold and quiet as she stormed out of the store.
Because I have no idea what had occurred to make her so upset, it would be unfair of me to say she ‘shouldn’t have acted out’; however, I wanted to take this as a lesson and share one method of how I manage my emotions using “gratitude-on-the-go”.
When it comes to gratitude, the act of writing your feelings and capturing your thoughts is SO important. I do recommend journaling with pen and paper (check out our last blog for our 100 Bridges gratitude activity), but I also keep an ongoing gratitude list on my phone.
I use my plain jane ‘notes’ app but you can use any note-taking app you please.
Continually adding to a gratitude list on your phone allows you to:
Quickly jot down notes so you don’t forget about them later
Become more mindful of “the little things” while you’re on-the-go
Scroll through a list of your OWN amazing moments, filling your heart up at any time you want
Take a ‘meh’ day and make it better! At every stoplight start shouting out your gratitude list as loud as you can. I bet you’ll feel instantly energized, grateful and a little bit silly
Carry so much goodness right in your pocket - the longer you continue with this exercise, you will soon have fast-access to hundreds of memories and acts of kindness
Reflect on all that you've been grateful for and lift your mood, helping to control and alleviate moments of anxiety, stress, anger, etc.
Recall your day with ease as you journal or give thanks while falling asleep
So what do I include in my mobile gratitude “journal” / list?
Sweet things my children say
Nice things my hubby does to surprise me
Describing the smells of my favourite places
Songs that have moved me
Random acts of kindness that I see (or that are done for me)
Pictures! It’s so easy to compile my most favourite images and help me remember the moments that matter most
Anytime that feeling strikes me that “I’m a lucky mama” “I’m crushing it in business” “My marriage is solid” “My family is crazy (but I love them anyway)”, etc.
Listen, I get it. Sometimes I want to freak-the-freak-out when things are not going my way, but I also know that what I focus on expands. In all situations (especially the bad) having a tool that can help you take charge of your emotions will change the path of your entire day.
It can change the way you parent, the way you support a friend, the way you respond to your spouse, or frustrating hardware store employee. Searching for the goodness in life allows you to see the amazing things that already surround you.
We already harness so much goodness - we just need to give ourselves permission and acknowledge it.