Warmth, Joy, and Gratitude

Image Source: Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

When you’re feeling stressed and having a difficult day, it can be easy to allow pessimism and frustration to take the reins over your feelings. All it takes is a shift in your perspective to be grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given and to value and recognize joy amidst the situation. If you take the time to reflect, several things bring joy and gratitude in your life that you may well know of but often dismiss or forget. Here are five reminders that may shift your mindset to see the positive and soften your heart: 

  1. Walk around a county park

If a county park is nearby your area, try calling a close friend or a relative and ask them to join you for a walk. Walking provides a healthy rush of endorphins likely to uplift your mood and many positive health benefits, such as supporting immune health and reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease. You can try it and see if your thoughts have eased during a thirty-minute walk in the peaceful nature, which can lessen stress and improve your mood. 

  1. Catch up with a friend

Taking the time to call a friend or a trusted relative about your problems can alleviate the burden that you’re holding in your heart. All it takes is a listening ear to understand and respect your situation and, if needed, a word of advice to guide your decision. Alternatively, maybe what you need is to check up on how your friend is doing and honor the friendship between you two.

  1. Find a lovely shade under a tree 

This is a good spot to take the time to reflect, read, write, paint, or journal about your feelings, with the light breeze passing by and the amber sunlight providing warmth. You can even picnic with your family or friends and enjoy a charcuterie board and each other’s company, full of laughter, good fun, and time for board games.  

  1. Head to the beach and dive deep into the ocean

If you have ever dipped your feet into the expansive, cold ocean waters, you’ll know there’s fun in riding the rhythmic waves. The beautiful golden sun glows on the ocean, and the peaceful waves provide comfort and ease. A warmth sits still deep within your soul when surrounded by good company, the wind’s chill breeze, and the gentle ocean waters.

  1. A passing smile

Do you know that feeling when a stranger smiles at you as they pass by, even though there’s a huge chance you may never meet again? A smile acknowledges the presence of another and implies a nonverbal cue that means, “Hey there, I know you exist.” Next time, maybe you can try giving a genuine smile to a person as you pass each other’s paths, acknowledging their existence and humanity while also bringing light to their day.