Written by Jocelyn Lu, Marketing Manager of SwellWomen & Founder of Rainfield Marketing
Over the past year, times have been tough for everyone including myself. I felt I was losing momentum for my marketing business and losing energy while I was running or biking then I’d start thinking negatively about how I was running or biking and would stop all together or get frustrated.
After doing a 6-week online experience to get unstuck and rediscover my bliss with Swellness Coaching called Where’s the Bliss? and reading an interview from Lulu Agan, our very own Chief Officer of Bliss at SwellWomen on Authority Magazine about How We Can Leverage The Power of Gratitude to Improve our Mental Wellness, I learned how to take small sustainable steps to shift my mind and energy, as well as practiced the five simple gratitude practices that Lulu shared in her interview.
The shift wasn’t overnight, it was gradual for me. Learning patience was key here as well. In hopes that it will inspire you to live with more gratitude in your lives, I wanted to share my experiences on how I leveraged the power of gratitude and utilized what I learned from Where’s the Bliss? to shift my mindset and improve my mental well-being.
1. Cultivating gratitude through written words
I knew that I had to write something down but sometimes I didn’t have a journal around so I’d find piece of paper like a receipt (haha!) and wrote out things I was grateful for on that and put it in my jacket pocket then I’d leave it in there. A few weeks later, I’d find it in my pocket while out walking or running errands and I’d read it ~ it changed my mood immensely. In a way, it was little present to myself! Every time, I wrote it down, I felt better, happier.
2. Meditating and taking a mental note on anything I was thankful for.
At times when I didn’t feel like writing anything down, I’d do yoga and then take 1-2 mins after and think about 3 things I was grateful for. I mentally gave thanks to even the smallest little thing such as the total stranger who said hi to me while I was out walking. Something just so small even helped shift my mental energy.
3. Cultivating Gratitude through Senses
I used to run in the trails and not really experience where I was. While running, I started to look up and take a deep breathe and say to myself “I’m grateful for the smell of the trees, the smell of fresh rain or dirt” and looked around at all the trees and lush green moss. Then I started feeling happier and even had an extra boost of energy to run up hills.
Also when I started to look around more, I noticed more wildlife like rabbits, deers or birds and the animals would even stop to say hi for a second (or I’d like to think they said hi) and stare at me then disappear into the trees. One time a squirrel actually ran beside me for a few seconds ~ it was like they could feel my mental energy improve too. I was “one” with the animals.
4. Gratitude involves a humble recognition
A friend told me once that I didn’t think of other people…and I thought to myself “What, I think about other people…I think about my friends, family etc.” But then while doing my gratitude practice and Where’s the Bliss?, I not only thought about people, but also started doing things for other people without any expectation of them doing something in return.
Here are a few things I did…
- I made extra lasagna and dropped some off for a friend in quarantine.
- I let a women go in front of me in line at the grocery store who had 1 item whereas I had 30 or more items and it brightened the women’s day and she said thank you in a bright, happy tone.
- I gave back to the community by participating in a month long running challenge for a community food bank and bought a hat that donated all proceeds to another local community group
As Lulu mentioned in her interview, “The sky is [really] the limit to what you can do.” These small gratitude practices definitely shifted my mental well-being to feeling more positive.
5. Express gratitude either verbally or in writing to one person per day.
After every visit or call with a friend, I always express gratitude for the time we spent together by texting or saying verbally, “Thanks for the great time this morning or this evening or Thanks for the call”. When I did that, I didn’t expect anything back but my friends would say in return anyways, “Thank you for the great time” then I’d start getting Thank you’s from my friends after each visit and before I even said it. Expressing gratitude definitely shifted my mental energy and my friend’s energy.
Remember…Small Sustainable Steps and Shifts Lead to Transformations
At first, I thought I wouldn’t have any time and didn’t really know how to do a real gratitude practice. Thats where the Swellness Coaching ~ Where’s the Bliss program helped me break it down into bite size chunks. Each day, I’d carve out just 30 minutes to do a gratitude practice and what was outlined in the Where’s the Bliss? Workbook and it ended up being a nice break during the day.
I kept doing small steps each day because I understood they can lead to transformations. It worked too! I started to feel more positive and had more energy. Got up earlier to go running or biked up hills without getting frustrated. I started to feel more positive and healthier. Studies even show that gratitude can help your health too.
Of course, it’s not perfect and I still get negative feelings, but now I have tools that will help me shift my mind before I get too frustrated or lose energy. When I’m running, sometimes my mind starts to say “I’m tired” but then I quickly shift my mind to think “I have energy” and it works, I seem to have more energy to keep running. I also noticed that being more positive, I attracted a more positive and happy tribe and friends around me.
I now have the tools to help me shift my mindset and a workbook from Where’s the Bliss? to go back to anytime. It was a really great experience that has helped me time and time again to get unstuck and keep living my bliss. The next guided Where’s the Bliss? is on waitlist but you can sign up for a self-guided Where’s the Bliss course and find more details here. It really does work and you’ll gain tools for life!
And with that, I end up with a huge THANK YOU to all that have supported me and continue to inspire me every day. Remember to keep going, you can do it with small steps!
About the Author
Jocelyn Lu loves to support and inspire others to live their bliss everyday. In addition, she also runs her own digital marketing company, Rainfield Marketing and is an Alumni of Where’s the Bliss? and SwellWomen Maui Retreat. Read more about her in her bio.