How are you so Zen? How Daily Gratitude Practices have Changed my Life and Reduced Stress…

Feb 24, 2024 | By New Darlings

reducing stress - slow living - desert life

Why are you so chill? How are you so zen?

I was really surprised to get these questions from you all on IG, when I asked what you wanted to see more of on the blog this year. I was flattered by those comments and I was compelled to write about it because it is something I have been actively working on the last several years: mindset, gratitude, perspective, energy, and worth. 

Daily Gratitude - Gratitude journal - Desert life - desert backyard

Let me start off by saying I am not 100% calm, cool, or collected all the time. No one is. I get angry and upset just like anyone, but I’ve made a lot of changes in my life since becoming a mother and for the sake of this article, I begin with sharing what has made the most impact in my life: mindset. What has completely shifted in the last several years has been my mindset and the way I react to these feelings. It’s important to remember it’s not the actual feeling that we’re experiencing which is “not ok”, but how we react can be. And as a parent that’s something I’m constantly trying to teach my son as well. We can feel it all, it’s good to feel it all, you need to feel it all, but we shouldn’t let those feelings overtake us. Once we let them dictate our whole day, whole week, etc. it’s a slippery slope and I’ve seen it first hand.

Practicing Gratitude and it’s Benefits

So how do I combat a bad day? I practice gratitude. Each morning when I wake up I try to recognize something that is good in my life, something I’m grateful for. If we can look around and see the good and hold onto that, it makes dealing with the not so pleasant things a little bit easier. I’ve learned this practice gets easier over time. Getting outside each day helps if you can…but more on all of that real soon.

Desert Life - Desert Patio

I received a DM not too long ago telling me I should share more of the difficult parts of parenthood. I ended up having a great conversation with this follower, that made me reflect a bit more. I shared with her about my journey over the last few years and some of my own personal experiences throughout my childhood. Growing up there were a lot of emotions floating around. When there was frustration or sadness, it filled the house and lingered…and it stuck with me. I remember what that felt like as a child and teen growing up. Now with a child of my own, It inspired me to adopt some healthy practices to help me regulate my emotions try to find the good in each day. I’ve also found ways to communicate about these feelings in a healthy way. Just because we’re adults and maybe parents, it doesn’t mean we should hide these emotions.

zellige tile in bathroom

Taking a Moment to Breathe and Reflect

Give yourself at least 15 minutes each day. Morning or night, whatever is easier for you. Get outside. Sit quietly somewhere. We need to find ways that work for ourselves to regulate our nervous systems. Breathe. There’s a reason there are special breathing techniques when women are in labor. I still do those deep breaths when I’m overwhelmed or feeling anxious. 1, 2, 3, 4….in your nose and 1,1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4 out your mouth… Slow down. We started a daily meditation with our son this year. It’s just five minutes of guided meditation. He gets to choose where we do it; sometimes it’s the backyard or by the fireplace. He gets to feel in control of his day, his body and thats so important as we start each day. 

how to deal with stress and anxiety

The earth, the animals, and plants are resting in winter, we should be too. Embracing the seasons and rest.

Slowing down has been essential in my wellness journey. As we embrace these last few moments of winter, let’s try to soak it all in, not count down the days till spring time. I used to be angry at myself for wanting to slow down. I used to struggle with the change in seasons, but I’ve recently embraced how healing seasonality could be if we embrace it. The Earth, the animals, and plants are resting in winter, we should be too. We are more in sync with the Earth than we think. We may not feel as inspired during these colder months. This is why our bodies need more rest in the winter. We crave the cozy drinks and warm nourishing meals. Instead of pushing our bodies, we can restore all the energy we used in the past seasons and move slowly. 

The rainy week we had in Tucson recently was excactly what my body needed as a little motivator to take it slow.

So much more to share on my unlearning and healing journey towards a more peaceful life. Thanks for being here and chatting with me. 

To read more personal posts, click HERE.

1 comment on “How are you so Zen? How Daily Gratitude Practices have Changed my Life and Reduced Stress…”

  1. I love your content! It really does give me zen vibes and would love to implement that in my home. I don’t have my own home yet but live in a one bedroom apartment with a newborn and toddler but I definitely think that I can change my home style into a more minimal place to have a less distracting and more intentional sanctuary. Thank you for the inspiration! 💓

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