Welcome to Day 3 of our Gratitude Journal Challenge -Slowing Things Down – if you missed Day 2 you can read it here.

As we close in on the end of the year, are you making it your personal goal to close it out with more of an appreciation for Gratitude? This is a perfect activity to broaden your mindset and invite more positivity into your life during the upcoming holidays.

One way to have an attitude of gratitude is by practicing purposeful living. This can be tricky to do, especially in our fast-paced world where electronics seem to make demands on us every second of every day.

Remember that you are allowed to shut out the constant clamoring of a demanding life. In fact – it's really bad for your health not to. One of the best things you can do for yourself right now, is to practice slowing things down, so you appreciate what is around you. Stress can be a killer, and it's way too easy to let stress enter you life and take over.

Below, find some stress statistics from Statistic Brain:

U.S. Stress Statistics Data
Percent of people who regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress 77 %
Regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress 73 %
Feel they are living with extreme stress 33 %
Feel their stress has increased over the past five years 48 %

Below are some easy ways to slow things down.

  1. Stop allowing technology to rule your life. Decide when it's time to check email and messages, not the other way around. Don't fall into the trap of liking and adding emoticons to everything you see on social media. Go for quality, not quantity, in your online communication. After all, you get out what you put in.
  2. Learn to say “no.” When we try to please everybody, we end up pleasing no one, least of all ourselves. Quality suffers. We make more mistakes, and we find ourselves spread too thin which is frustrating. If your commitments have begun to seem more like a burden and a hassle than a way to give of yourself in a way that feels good and rewarding, that means you've overbooked yourself. You'll find joy in your life's work when you take the time to do things right, and say no to all the rest.
  3. Give your mate, children and friends the gift of your full attention. Look people in the eyes as they're speaking to you. Listen to their whole story without giving in to the urge to interrupt. Even if you're someplace like the park, or a restaurant, where attention is often divided, put down your phone. Being stuck in the virtual world of social media and online information is exactly the opposite of staying fully present.
  4. Spend time in nature, every day. If you have a dog, take him or her outside for a walk, maybe even two of them. It doesn't have to be a long excursion, just 15 minutes around the block is all you need. When you have a few hours of free time, head to the park or take a hike down a sunlit path through the woods. Don’t be one of those people who hears the weather report and decides to hole up indoors under artificial light. A little rain, cold and snow is good for the body and soul. Be grateful for the goodness of our planet.

Exercise 3: Slowing Things Down and Find Ways to Be Grateful.

Journal Tip – Use this exercise to help you explore different ways you can slow down. Make a list of at least three ways you plan to slow down today, and then stick to it. When you write down a goal it can make you achieve it. Write about how you can slow down, and what actions you need to do to make that happen. This may include enlisting the help of someone, or just not doing something that you had in mind. 

Learning to live in the moment is the key to being grateful. Stop rushing. Instead, breathe. Open your mind to the many delicious sensations of a single experience.

If you find it difficult to slow down, you may need a release of some sort to clear your head and allow you to focus. Engage in some light stretching, do yoga, or go for a short jog to help relieve stress.

After you've exercised, enjoy a cool and refreshing drink of water. Then, allow your mind to take you on leisurely journey of the senses.

To do this, pick a single experience. It might be heading to the park with your small child. Children are naturally gifted at staying in the present. It could be playing ball with your dog in the backyard. Maybe it's just doing something by yourself, like sitting by a quiet stream and simply relaxing with your thoughts.

Whatever you do, take time to notice everything. Open your eyes and ears. Tune in your sense to the world around you.

Find some quiet activities that will help you slow down and then write about it in your journal. Make notes of what you saw, heard, smelled, and even tasted. Write about how it made your feel and what it made you feel grateful for.

An attitude of gratitude comes easy when we stop to focus our full attention on the beauty of this world and all its gifts!

Once you have completed today’s journal exercise about Slowing Things Down feel free to leave a comment below, or come and join in the conversation on our Facebook Page.

You may also enjoy this great article on how to reduce stress at work.

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