Practicing Gratitude

Rejoice Denhere

Plus other good habits you can adopt

Improving your life doesn’t have to cost you the earth. Here are 10 things you can do right now to improve your life.

1. Eat Healthier

Eat healthy food with lots of fruit and vegetables. Avoid processed food, and prepare your meals from scratch as often as you can. You will avoid metabolic syndrome.

According to the Mayo Clinic metabolic syndrome is a “cluster of three or more risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and pre-diabetes."

Let food be your medicine and medicine your food. - Hippocrates

For years I was on prescription medication for what I was told were irreversible medical conditions. This changed after I ditched unhealthy food for healthy food. Conditions I had come to accept as normal disappeared. I am healthier and I have more energy than I did a decade ago.

2. Exercise

Stay fit through regular exercise. Exercise can improve your mood. It’s good for both your physical and mental health.

Motion generates emotion which generates motivation.

Moving your body stimulates your brain to produce endorphins, which help to get and keep you motivated.

Motion can also help you process emotions.

I enjoy running. It really sets me free. One morning I woke up to news no one wants to hear. A loved one had passed away. For a moment I was too shocked to move. I quickly realised that if I didn’t do anything the situation would paralyse me. Although I didn’t feel like it, I put on my running gear and went for a run. Afterwards, I felt better positioned to process what had happened.

Recently, I took up yoga. They say that the body keeps score of everything that happens in your life. Yoga is a great way to release tension.

Find the right exercise to suit your circumstances. You won’t regret it.

3. Sleep and Wake Up Early

Waking up early is the easy part, because if you sleep early, you are more likely to wake up early too. Sleeping early takes discipline. You learn to say no to watching late night shows, talking too long on the phone, or staying out too late. You stop pulling all-nighters. It makes you more discerning about how you use your time.

There are also physical and mental benefits of sleeping early.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man, healthy, wealthy and wise. — Benjamin Franklin.

When you sleep early you have a better chance of getting a full eight hours sleep. Your body needs this time to digest food, eliminate waste and get much needed rest.

When you sleep early, you also wake up early, refreshed and energised. This is beneficial for your overall physical and mental health.

4. Practice Gratitude

Gratitude creates joy, reduces stress and can eliminate regret. What you focus on expands. Focus on gratitude and watch your attitude change. You will find more things to be grateful, in fact you will start attracting more things to be grateful for. You also attract people who have a similar mindset.

Help your fellow humans thrive and survive, contribute your little bit to the universe before it swallows you up, and be happy with that. Lend a hand to others. Be strong for them, and it will make you stronger — Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way

Start by showing appreciation. Compliment people when they do a good job and say thank you more often. The more you do this you will find that people start complimenting you as well. You will start to feel good about yourself.

Next, you can keep a gratitude journal. I have a gratitude jar. I write a sentence or two of at least one good thing that has happened that day. At the end of the year it is both fun and uplifting to open that jar and read everything.

5. Stick to a Routine

Having a good routine and sticking to it will make you successful. Success is a series of good habits repeated daily. It is only a matter of time before you see the benefits of your efforts.

To help you establish and stick to a good routine, use a vision board. It will help you frame your day according to what you want to achieve. It doesn’t mean that every moment is taken up with a task. It means there are things that need to be done daily. Things that move you forward in life. For me that includes reading and writing.

Try to set specific times so that your mind and body get used to the routine. After a while those habits will be ingrained in you and you will follow your routine automatically.

6. Challenge Yourself Daily

Some people may see the word “challenge” and immediately associate it with difficult and arduos tasks. I see challenging myself as a strategy for self improvement.

I enjoy running and I am working on improving my speed. Each time I go for a run I challenge myself to increase my speed by 30 seconds. I run at my normal pace, speed up, then slow down again. It always feels good to look at my stats and see the time improving.

Choose any area in your life where you want to improve. Try to challenge yourself on one thing at a time until you’re comfortable with it, then move on to the next thing.

7. Learn Stuff for Free Online

I've enrolled on tons of free online courses. I have also participated in online challenges. Free doesn't mean it doesn't add value - it does. When you put in the work required, you really reap the rewards.

One year I participated in a Profile Builder Challenge. It was hard work, it was competitive, and it was intense, but it was also rewarding. As a result of that training I was interviewed by High Profile Magazine and I was featured in an issue of the magazine, which also featured Michelle Obama.

8. Choose Your Friends Wisely

Your friends will either help you or hinder you. Choose them wisely. You are the sum total of the five people closest to you. Sometimes we fail to recognise that the people we choose as friends or life partners could influence us negatively.

Beware of frenemies. Their masks drop when you’re riding storms. They can’t handle it and you get to see their true colours. They secretly delight in your failures and relish your pain. Some offer false hope and support, ready to pull the rug from under your feet just when you’re recovering.

If you are a giving and caring person they will milk you for it.

The wrong people will wreak havoc in your life and then sit back with popcorn to enjoy the chaotic show they created. --
C ON S C I O U S / C H A N G E

9. Stay in Touch with Family

Staying in touch with family is a great way to show that you care. Technology has made it easy to stay in touch. A quick message, email, phone call or video call can make a huge difference in someone's life. It strengthens bonds in a way that makes it easier to cope during difficult times.

10. Manage Your Time Better

You can always make more money but you can't make more time. We each have 24 hours in a day. Some achieve more in those 24 hours than others. They do it by managing time well.

Time is your most valuable resource asset. Never give it away to people who don’t value it. — Rejoice Denhere

Think of time as currency. Don’t squander it, just as you wouldn’t squander your hard earned cash. Having goals and sticking to a routine will help you manage your time better.

Sources: Mayo Clinic

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Lifestyle writer | Published Author | Business owner I write about leadership, personal development, life lessons and wellness. My goal is to inform as well as inspire readers.


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