What are you thankful for? This time of year, it’s a common question. But did you know that practicing GRATITUDE year-round can help you overcome challenges and lead to a more fulfilling life?

Five years ago, Mindy Meiring had a major RELAUNCH in her own life. She and her and husband were going through IVF after 6 years of infertility while simultaneously closing down their shared business to start a new venture. She was also mourning the passing of a dear friend to cancer when she got the news that she herself had Lymphoma. Her emotions rotated between grief, worry, and even excitement at the prospect of their new business.

Her new business venture took her and her husband to Hawaii. While there, Mindy took a long walk along the beach. Even amidst the chaos of life, she felt a sense of calm and peace. In that one moment, she felt GRATEFUL. And she knew this was how she must approach ALL her future RELAUNCHES.

Her experience revealed 3 SECRETS to living with GRATITUDE:

  1. LIVE IN THE MOMENT

On that walk 5 years ago, Mindy made a decision. Rather than worry about all that was on her plate, she FOCUSED on what she had right then. She felt good, she had access to good healthcare, she had the support of family and friends. She realized she had what she NEEDED to LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

When your own circumstances are closing in around you, GROUND YOURSELF in what’s TRUE. These truths will support you no matter what you’re going through.

REMIND yourself that RIGHT NOW is where you’re supposed to be and that’s GOOD ENOUGH.

  1. SLOW DOWN

Most of the time, we move through life at top speed, constantly distracted by busyness.

Instead, SLOW DOWN and PAY ATTENTION.

First, take some things off your calendar. Life will go on whether your schedule is full or not. And when it’s not, you’ll have the opportunity to FOCUS on what matters.

Next, work to think BEYOND the INDIVIDUAL to the COLLECTIVE. Start by considering how much you depend on what you get from others. Who supplies the water in your home? Who keeps your Wi-Fi running? Who collects your trash? This exercise can take your FOCUS from INWARD to OUTWARD and give you a chance to see all that you do have.

  1. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

When Mindy received her diagnosis, she made the decision to TAKE CARE of herself FIRST. She took on less clients and took a step back from the business with her husband. This gave her more time to work towards better health.

Life’s SETBACKS can be a WAKEUP CALL to make changes that provide a better FOUNDATION for a better you- both physically and emotionally.

Commit to making changes that will help you live a balanced life. Then you’ll be better prepared for what’s to come.

  1. TRAIN YOUR BRAIN

Did you know that roughly 80% of what we think about in a given day is NEGATIVE? When you focus on the POSITIVE moments, your brain will begin show you more of them. That’s why practicing gratitude is like starting a new habit. You have to TRAIN your BRAIN to be grateful.

Here’s Mindy’s top tips for getting started:

  • Pick a time every day to practice gratitude and stick to it.
  • Think of 5 things you’re thankful for.
  • Be specific! The secret to this exercise is in the DETAILS of your day.
  • Write them down. Research shows when you write your thoughts down on paper they become more concrete in your brain. Consider buying a journal to record your thoughts.

When Mindy looks back on her RELAUNCH, she sees the SILVER LINING. While the challenges were many, there was also joy. She learned more about herself, in particular that she has more RESILIENCE than she thought.

You may be tempted to just get through your SETBACKS, to just survive. But life’s challenges can be RICH SOIL for GROWTH.

Nothing in life is guaranteed, but when you practice GRATITUDE, you’ll be happier, more optimistic, and able to FOCUS on the positive. And no matter what’s to come, you’ll grow stronger.