This year, choose gratitude

Wow, I can’t believe it’s 2014.

Happy New Year to you all and if you were wondering, yes, this is a New Year’s post (surprise, surprise).

Looking back, 2013 was a year filled with many accomplishments, not to mention failures, and many many lessons learned.

In summary,

I completed my dietetic internship, became an RD (ahhh!!), started working at an amazing private practice, and made so many great friends along the way. However, throughout that entire journey, I encountered many obstacles and came across many hurdles on the road.

I’m not the type to share only the positive things that are going on in my life (even though I do admit I am a positive person), but let’s be real- we all go through shitty times and stress at some point. The internship was amazing but tough. I had days of anxiety wondering if I would ever complete it, wondering if I was ever good enough to become a dietitian. And of course, job hunting was beyond stressful- was I not good enough? Why has no one called back? And soon I became unhappy and bitter about things. I found myself losing patience with myself and even with others around me.

When it came to the point where I was bitter towards others, I had to stop myself and ask “why am I so unhappy? What is wrong with me?” I was always told that I was a “bubbly” and “positive” person. And at that moment, I just didn’t feel like I was me anymore. I was losing myself..mentally.

I stopped to ask myself, “what was it that always kept me so positive and happy throughout these years? Can I bring that back?” And it finally came down to …..GRATITUDE.

Gratitude

Yes, I am one of those… I remember almost everyone’s birthday and actually do snail mail a card to my closest friends, I write lots and lots of thank you cards, and love buying presents for people (no surprise that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday). But I was never able to pinpoint what it was that was making me feel so happy until I watched this video:

The Science of Happiness- An Experiment in Gratitude 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHv6vTKD6lg

Ever since figuring out what was keeping me happy (and sane), I tried to start every day with a positive thought and a grateful heart.

Moving forward into 2014, I hope to continue to be grateful for all I have (friends, family, health, job) and challenge myself during times of stress and rough times to refrain from becoming impatient and bitter.

Here are some ways to practice giving gratitude:

Keeping a gratitude journal- I use Happy Rambles sometimes to keep an online gratitude journal. Everyday you are sent an email to write down one thing you are grateful for that day.

Writing thank you cards- Thanksgiving is not the only holiday to give thanks. A thank you note can brighten someone’s day and even yours.

Mediate or practice yoga- Yoga has really changed my life. When I practice, I give thanks to health, wellness, and to yoga.

Simply saying thank you- simply thanking someone for holding the door for you, giving you change, can make you both feel good.

Thankful

I discovered One Word 365 , for my goals for the new year. Rather than sticking to a long list of goals, choosing one word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live, that you can focus on every day and all year long. If I get lost, all I need to do is remember one word…gratitude.

Here’s to a healthier and happier 2014!

Joanna xoxo

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3 thoughts on “This year, choose gratitude

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