1st May, 2018: Grate-ful

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” – A.A Milne, Winnie the Pooh

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No, I didn’t die of veganism. I bet you were all worried…

I have to apologise for my lack of posts- I resent using the ‘work’ card because I don’t work all the time, you know. I sleep and I eat and stuff which means that really, I do have time to jot a little something down. It’s just not good enough, and I will do better. Rest assured, I’ve been reading everybody else’s blogs.

Anyway, what has been May’s challenge? What have I been doing? Well, being ‘mindful’. I really enjoyed my yoga month and I’ve been keeping it up actually, even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes every day, I enjoy having a little time on my mat. It got me thinking more about ‘mindfulness’ as a practice, and I thought I’d spend some time exploring it – what it means, how it is practiced and whether it deserves all the positive hype.

I bought a mindfulness jar for my Mam a while back, and yes, it is absolutely 100% as twee and Eat-Pray-Love as it sounds. It’s a cute little jam jar with a gold lid and it’s full of little printed notes with generic and positive pictures on them – a meadow, a sunrise, a bee pollinating flowers – you get the idea. My plan is to work through these little notes and see if I can get on board the mindfulness wagon, whilst simultaneously checking out blogs, videos and podcasts to see if I can understand what all the fuss is about.

So today, we have a ‘Mindfulness: Gratitude’ exercise. ‘Note down three things that you are grateful for today’. Easy.

  1. Cheese
  2. Chocolate
  3. And a hazelnut Magnum

Yes, they’re all food, and yes they are all things I didn’t eat last month (save the cheesy chips incident, never forgotten).

Aside from my food gratitudes, noting them down made me think of all the positive things that actually happen in a day that you forget about. Sometimes, I wake up grumpy or something stressful happens in my day and I struggle to be positive and shake it off (to quote Taylor Swift). This negative thought or feeling builds and my proverbial glass becomes half empty. I don’t think I’m alone in that, because I see articles all over my social media feed about unhappiness and rising mental health issues across the board – just this the Telegraph reported that primary school referrals for child counselling has risen by a third.

Tomorrow, I think I’m going to note three gratitude thingys down in the morning when I wake up, and in the evening. Why? Because when I looked at the list I had made in the morning after work, it made me smile and instantly put me in a better mood. I suppose it’s like a dose of serotonin – like taking a break from your computer screen or going for a jog. Immediately I thought about my evening and began to relax and switch off.

Exeuent, pursued by cheese on toast.

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