To be completely honest, I hit a bit of a rough patch recently. I felt a little lost and overwhelmed by a whirlpool of decisions, emotions, negative energy and stress. It happens, and unfortunately it happens to just about everyone at one stage or another. Stress manifests itself in so many ways in the human body, these forms being very individual and pertinent to who, how and why they are experiencing it.
Luckily for me (and now you as I share this!), I have a coping strategy, which becomes a part of my nighttime ritual, particularly when sleep seems elusive.
Some people count sheep, I count blessings and repeat a gratitude list.
This is a truly simple exercise and acts as a reminder of all the things that make you blessed (forgive me for sounding like a Kardashian there). These are the things, I find that I overlook and forget within my daily rush, when the pressures of the city weigh down on me, as they get shoved to the side and ignored. When we shine some light on these moments, feelings, interactions, no matter how small or large, they uplift the spirit.
So what do you do? Get cosy in bed, almost ready for sleep and in your mind, or out loud if you wish, simply go through your day and list or state the things that you are grateful for. Absolutely everything that makes you feel a sense of gratitude or to be thankful for. It can be anything, try not to judge or pass opinion on what pops into your mind, simply acknowledge what it is you feel these sense towards.
I personally like to look to the smallest details, that I may overlook daily that actually I am lucky to have and experience - that I may take for granted but are simple pleasures.
I am always grateful for my body for allowing me to move and do as I please, particularly if I have pushed through a gruelling workout, tried something new or have even taken time out for necessary recovery.
I am grateful for having friends and family, who whilst may not physically be next to me, are only at the end of a phone.
I am grateful for having a voice, that allows me to teach, encourage, communicate and engage with others.
I am grateful for the 15 minutes of sunshine that meant I could ride home from work soaking up the light! It can be about people, materials, relationships, experiences.
Anything that is relevant, truthful and important to you. Sometimes, it helps to keep it really specific, so as to be truly reflective of each day and the experiences you encountered. But just take some time, think about what you are truly grateful for, and keep repeating.
I find it calming, like a repeated mantra, which means as I drift off to sleep, I am thinking of all the positive aspects of my life, all my blessings and energy that is focused on happiness, which outpowers any negativity faced.
Start cultivating that gratitude today!