Of gardens and gratitude

I noticed this evening that the days are definitely getting markedly shorter and it made me just the tiniest bit anxious. The loss of daylight can sometimes contribute to seasonal blues and I’m really not ready for it. So I thought I would share tip (abbreviated – click on the link for full text) from live happy – accompanied by photos from a beautiful trip to the Botanical Garden with my best friend – that I think could help.

8 Easy Practices to Enhance Gratitude (Improve your sense of wellbeing all year)

  1. Savor. Slow down! Stop, breathe, take notice, and delight in the present moment. Let yourself get excited about little things. Cultivate tiny moments of joy, and notice those times when they spontaneously happen.

2. Plan experiences… Be purposeful about planning and creating special experiences, and you will reap the rewards.

3. Play Music. Create a playlist that you feel deeply connected to personally. Tune into it when you need a gratitude lift or a shift in perspective.

4. Write a letter to your younger self. Happiness researcher and author Shawn Achor suggests writing a letter to your younger self with the wisdom you have today with the wisdom you have today. This simple act can transform your past (by showing yourself compassion) and can transform your present. (Admittedly, the jury is still out on this one for me. But it made their list, so I’m including.)

5. Make a highlights list…You will experience more gratitude as you recall special experiences, trips and treasured memories.

6. Fall asleep to gratitude. In a journal, write down what you feel thankful for each day. Make this the last activity you do before you fall asleep. Not only are you immersing yourself in all that brings you joy, you are putting your mind in a thankful and positive place before you drift off to sleep.

7. Make a resilience list. Write down five tough times and how you made it through. We all need reminders that we are stronger than we think.

8. Take the focus off you. Do something nice for someone else that is totally unexpected. Happy acts for other people give you a sense of contentment, too.

Here’s to a new season and its unique blessings, beauties and accompanying quirks.

Day twenty-two‘s unexpected delight? The Koi Cafe at the Garden. How clever is this? Kids can fill up plastic bags purchased in the gift shop and head out the Japanese Garden to feed the fish. The above spider was certainly a surprise, but it’s a spider. It’s hard to describe any spider as a joy or delight, but he’s sure clever.

Of course the entire weekend was filled with joy and delight, but that recap post is coming soon.

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