Gurus say that if you practice a mindset of gratitude, you’ll experience more joy in life. Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day, and you decide if you spend them wallowing in self-pity or looking at the bright side. That said, it can be challenging to adjust your mindset, especially if you’re having a tough day, week or year. All that aside, you can almost always find one small thing to put a smile on your face. Here are 13 small things to be grateful for in 2020:
1. Fresh Air and Sunshine
In Japan, they practice Shinrin-yoku, which translates to “forest bathing.” This practice alleviates anxiety and depression in a natural way, and you can imitate it by lacing up your tennis shoes and heading outside yourself.
Whether you like to walk along a nearby path, or you prefer to sit by a quiet pond, just a few moments outside can make a world of difference. Give it a try!
2. Three Meals a Day
Do you bellyache about your inability to lose weight? Try switching your mindset instead of your diet. Over 11% of U.S. households experienced food insecurity during 2018 alone, and wage stagnation leaves millions struggling to find enough to eat. The next time you sit down to a meal, express gratitude first.
3. Fresh Opportunities
When was the last time that you learned something new? A new year means fresh opportunities to pursue your ambitions, whether they’re related to work or something entirely different.
If you’re afraid to swim in the deep end of the pool, and you feel like it’s “too late” to learn to swim. Embrace that opportunity and be grateful for the chance!
4. New Pastimes
You may want to take up a new pastime in 2020, and that’s great! If you have a spare day, you should spend it doing something you enjoy. The trouble is, what do you choose?
Want to learn pool? You have resources to get you started. Want to try your hand at origami? You have a long list of patterns to explore!
5. Friends and Family
Did you know that nearly half of all adults report experiencing loneliness? The next time you feel isolated, pick up the phone. Text your old college best friend and meet for coffee, or check in with your mom. You’ll both feel less alone.
6. Warm Socks
Hey, it’s still winter in many parts of the country, and having warm feet is one of life’s most underrated pleasures.
Give yourself a pair of cozy Sherpa socks and curl up with a hot cup of tea and a novel. If that doesn’t make you say, “thank you,” what will?
7. That Cheerful Colleague
Going to work can feel like a drag. You have to wake up at a godforsaken hour to battle traffic and the scent of your co-worker’s reheated salmon at lunchtime.
However, every office has a Miss or Mr. Mary Sunshine, who always lightens the room with a joke or a funny anecdote. Cherish this individual — they make up for the gloomy defeatists of the world.
If you haven’t noticed, YouTube has a ton of kick-butt content, and much of it is available for free. Have you survived a narcissistic relationship? You can catch the old 1940’s movie “Gaslight” and feel oh-so-validated without spending a dime.
You can also find a ton of free yoga videos for when you need to squeeze in a stretch.
9. Fitness Apps
Who says you have to go to a gym to get in shape? Today, you can find a host of low-cost fitness apps that empower you to get shredded in the privacy of your home.
You don’t need any equipment at all to perform many workouts, but if you have the budget and space, why not add some hand weights and bands to your repertoire?
10. Herbal Tea
Coffee is magical, but let’s face it. You can only drink so much of the stuff.
Herbal tea warms your belly, and many varieties have healing properties, too. For example, chamomile can help you to relax, and ginger can soothe an upset stomach.
Way back in the 1980s, NASA performed a study that revealed how houseplants remove toxins like formaldehyde from indoor air.
If you often experience allergies or upper respiratory infections, try adding a ficus or spider plant to your decor. It may help you to breathe more comfortably. Hallelujah!
12. Foam Rollers
Do you experience flare-ups from fibromyalgia or degenerative disc disease, or both? If so, a foam roller can become an indispensable part of your pain-killing toolkit. Rejoice that you can self-massage because professional treatments are expensive.
You can add a humble set of racquetball balls to your kit to roll over the soles of your feet if you have plantar fasciitis.
13. Your Right to Vote
Do you sometimes grow depressed because of poor decisions made by national leaders? Now is your opportunity to change that. Find out when they hold the primary elections in your state and get out and vote.
Better yet, volunteer if you have the time to do so.
Give Thanks For These 13 Things Today
Even when times prove challenging, you can find one thing to make you smile. Give thanks for the following items today and improve your mood and outlook.
Dylan Bartlett blogs about health and wellness on his site, Just a Regular Guide. Follow him on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates on his work!