Tag Archives: gratitude

Appreciation—A Key to Transforming Your Life

Appreciation is a way of giving thanks to the things we are glad about in our lives. It is one of the major keys to living a joyful life. According to the dictionary it is “thankful recognition.” It’s a way that can lift your spirits quickly when you start to focus on all that you are grateful for in your life.

I’ve met hundreds if not thousands of people from all walks of life and have learned that everything is relative. In Sweden, we talk about “luxproblem” or luxury problems when someone’s phone isn’t working or they are bored with their work/school. If you just only compare your life to someone who has it worse, very quickly you can find so much to be grateful for in your own life. Basically if you have eyes to read this and are breathing, guess what? You can be grateful!

Gratitude and appreciation are so important because no matter what the circumstances are, you can always find some little thing to be thankful for which will help you to get to a higher energy level to be able to attract good things into your life.

Appreciation is also the key to having good relationships. When you can focus on the good parts of a relationship or person, you are seeing the person with love. This will cause even more good energy to flow between you and that person. When you first fall in love, all you can see is the goodness of that person. With time, the “honeymoon phase” will end, and those little things can start to get on your nerves. If you allow those things to bother you and continue to focus on them, it’s only going to get worse. But when you can focus on the good things—which appreciation does for you—then you will only see more of that.

I’ve always love Thanksgiving because it is a holiday that helps people to remember what they are thankful for. One of the best ways to get into the appreciation mode is to think of ten things that you are grateful for every night before you fall asleep and in the morning when you wake up. When you do this as you are going to sleep, you’ll put yourself into a positive state that will carry you through the night. When you do this in the morning, it helps start your day in a positive light. This is one of the keys to living a joyful life.

No matter how dire the situation may seem, find those ten things to be grateful for…they may be minuscule but it will help. You will start to condition your mind to look for the good in life. Our brains are like a muscle and what we focus on is what will create our reality. So use appreciation and gratitude as a tool to creating a very joyful life.

Why Small Moments Matter

Reading up on the latest future trends and technologies, I can sometimes geek out. I’m fascinated to know what might be coming. We have entered a phase of accelerated change—things are going to happen so quickly and I do believe that many of the new technologies will be able to transform our world. The big key to all of this is to find your own inner peace and joy.

In all that I do, I have a core message that is simply choose love over fear. If you can live each day focusing on those small moments, looking for joy and all that is going well, you’ll find that at the end of the day, you can string these moments throughout the day (often bridging over the challenges and negativity) to realize that it was a pretty good day. And doing this every day means your weeks turn out pretty good, and in the end, chances are you’ll live a pretty darn good life!

This is a way of practicing gratitude very consciously.

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A concept I share regularly with others is that you need to watch closely what you “feed your brain.” It’s so easy these days to get bombarded with negativity. You really have to make an effort to counter balance all the negativity with a lot of positive information. One of my latest favorite tricks (especially on my Facebook feed) is looking at awe-inspiring images. I’ve liked several pages that just post amazing pictures so my newsfeed is filled with beautiful pictures. And it makes me feel joy!

Appreciation is one of the fastest ways to feel better too. Whether you are showing gratitude to others or for those small moments, it shifts your way of looking at the world. You see things from a more positive light. I’m not saying it’s always easy. It’s very similar to a muscle that needs to be trained. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. So make that conscious choice each and every day.

The last thing I’d like to share is how you can keep your own peace. Just imagine the eye of the storm. It’s always calm and lovely while there’s a raging storm going on all around. Be that eye of the storm in your life. Make that choice! Learn to not go into knee-jerk reactions but rather, put a pause in, a space, where you can choose exactly how you want to respond. You can do this through taking three deep breathes before saying anything, taking a walk, being very mindful and be aware of your emotions. Don’t let things get to you, keep that peace inside of you and you will be a positive force to be reckoned with that will help to calm others as well. I promise that!

You are welcome to download one of my favorite tools, the Joyometer, at www.KarinVolo.com to help you learn to manage your emotions.

There are so many tricks we can use to consciously work on gratitude. What are some of your favorites? I’d love to hear about them.

5 Simple Ways To Finding Peace in Chaos

It may seem like the world is in a horrible state and everything is falling apart—and on one level it IS! This may seem very frightening to many. A huge range of emotions is being felt right now: from sadness and depression to anger and rage to despondency and helplessness. It is very horrible with all the tragedies that have been happening lately.

But let me tell you…we have a choice…the choice to feel HOPE as well. Let me explain.

Our old systems are not sustainable…they are damaging to the planet and to humanity. So they need to go! It doesn’t matter which “system” you look at, it is in the process of either collapsing or transforming—governments, businesses, finances, education, healthcare, agriculture, environment, etc. It’s happening all over the world so no one is free of this right now. So much of what is happening right now is revealing issues, giving us an opportunity to face them, and to choose another path.

Many people are feeling cognitive dissonance. According to Wikipedia, “in psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas, or values, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.” When we have deep beliefs that we discover are not true, this is a natural process because we don’t want to let go of those beliefs. But as soon as we open our eyes to the possibility, then we can start to discern the truth of the situation. It can be painful, people can get physically ill, dizzy, go into denial, and if they fight for their old beliefs, it only prolongs the process.

What we are witnessing right now is the collapse of so many of our world systems. At the same time! The depth of corruption and lies runs deep. This is why it feels like the world is falling apart, because it is. And it needs to!

But that doesn’t mean it’s all gloom and doom. On the contrary, this is the sign we’ve been waiting for! The majority of cultures and religions talk about the end of the world–as we know it–and that we will enter into a golden age.

A powerful force that we all can have faith in is the resiliency and love of human beings.

We are awakening to the ways the world has been controlled and on a destructive path. And I believe we are going to fix this. We are coming together as we understand that we need a new way. A better way. A higher level of consciousness or awareness about how we are truly connected, we are one human race. This is the path that will help all of us thrive on this planet.

So I am excited and hopeful when I see the signs of destruction (but not the unnecessary deaths) because I know we HAVE to go through this in order to get to the other side. This is helping to bring people together and to take action for the good of our world.

Just as the birth of a butterfly is the death of the caterpillar, we are in that process of metamorphosis. Understanding this bigger picture will help in seeing things for what they really are. By empowering ourselves on an individual level to be hopeful and find our own peace, we CAN make a difference. We have a tremendous ability to influence this transition just in how we manage our own emotional state. (If you want a tool to help in managing your emotions, you can get my Joyometer here).

The key to this for each of us is to focus on love, compassion, forgiveness, peace, and knowing we can co-create a much better world together!

Conceptual peace and cultural diversity symbol of multiracial hands making a circle together around the world the Earth globe on blue sky and green grass background.
 

So how to find your own peace in the middle of the crazy chaos? Here are five great strategies that will help.

  • Gratitude—find things to be grateful for each and every day. Regardless of what you are feeling, this will help make you feel better and brighten your day. Use this as a conscious tool. No matter what the circumstances are, you can always find something to be thankful for so appreciate as much as you can every day!
  • Feed Your Brain Positivity—for goodness sake, turn OFF the TV! Whether it is the mainstream media or the mindless TV shows, just turn it off. (For alternative positive programs, I can highly recommend http://www.gaia.com) Also limit your time on social media. Choose to read some good books. Make sure that the images that you take in are at least 3 times more often positive than any negative ones. Find things that inspire you. Be with people who give you energy. And try to keep a higher perspective or understanding on what is happening in the world.
  • Get Out In Nature—this goes along with turning off the TV and limiting your social media. Take a walk, go for a hike, swim, sit by a tree, take a picnic, allow the sunshine to warm your face, breath in fresh air, listen to the birds. Walk barefoot in the grass–did you know that this is actually called “earthing”? The Earth’s electromagnetic frequency and that our brains in the alpha state (a relaxed, deeply calm state of mind) are the same! This is known as Schuman’s resonance. So this is why being in nature is so good for us!
  • Question Everything!—this is important, especially in these times because there is so much propaganda and disinformation out there. Do NOT take anything at face value but do your own research and find trustworthy sources (I can recommend David Wilcock and http://thrivemovement.com as good places to start.) Anyone with access to internet has no excuse not to do their own research. BUT also listen to what your body feels as you are doing this. We have intuition—that gut feeling—when something feels right or not. Learn to trust it!
  • Meditate for 10 to 20 Minutes per day—if you have not meditated, this may seem more challenging. But meditation can be done is so many ways. I highly recommend guided meditations to start. But even sitting in nature or focusing on peace or doing deep breathing helps ground you tremendously so that you feel calmer and less stressed, which in turn has a positive effect on those around you. There are numerous studies that show how the power of intention by a collective group of people can positively influence society. Here I can also recommend the research from Heartmath Institute.

We are living through some of the most interesting, challenging, yet exciting times humanity has ever faced. It will be a rocky road, and if you can find your peace on this journey, you will be contributing to making the world that we all wish to see! Read the Earth Manifesto here

3 Proven Actions to Having More Joy and Happiness in Your Life

There are more than 7.4 billion people on the planet right now. The essence of what all people want comes down to four main things: love, peace, joy, and abundance.

I believe that people have an innate emotional set point—a place that a person returns to over and over on the broad scale of emotions we humans experience. So for example, I have an elderly relative has worried her entire life because she’s gone through many difficult times. Now that her life is actually better than it has been in a very long time, she still searches for things to worry about because that is where she tends to be most comfortable—and her brain is conditioned to this. Another relative from the same generation is always looking on the bright side and tends to have a very positive outlook. She’s full of energy and sometimes I can’t even keep up with her. Just comparing the levels of health with these two relatives shows me how your levels of happiness really does make a difference, especially over time.

During one of the toughest times in my life, I developed a way to become very aware or conscious of my feelings…and worked diligently to try and stay in a positive frame of mind. This tool is called the Joyometer™ and it is what I like to call a “mood management system” to help you stay aware of what you are feeling and how you can actively work to get yourself to a higher emotional state of being. (You can download the Joyometer here.)

Having had the good fortune to connect with hundreds of people through my work, and interview numerous thought leaders and change agents who are leaders in their field, I’ve found that there are three consistent strategies that people who are happier and living more joy filled lives actively work with to better their emotional state. They are the 3 G’s to Joy & Happiness:

Gratitude

Regardless of whatever is happening in your life, you can always find something to be grateful for…you are reading this right now and you are breathing! Finding things to appreciate and be thankful for in life helps you shift how you look at the world.

If you focus on what is going well, the tendency that more good will happen will generally increase. Gratitude helps your overall emotional well- being, helps you sleep better, increases your confidence and also betters your relationships. It’s a great way to lift you out of a funk.

Growth

Nature is constantly changing and our universe is continually expanding. As humans, we are happier when we are growing and learning on some level. We are meant to be pushing the boundaries and trying new things. People often say they are afraid of change but the reality is that life is constant change. Growth is optional and we can take a conscious effort to strive to be better and open our minds to new perspectives.

Just as water stagnates when it is still, so do we humans. It’s much healthier to be flowing like a river. When our basic needs are taken care of, it is natural for us to seek new relationships, new challenges, new jobs, and learning new skills. It’s a part of human nature to grow and that helps increase our levels of happiness as well.

Giving

Giving is the third strategy to increase the joy in your life. When you can help others, it will bring you a new perspective and studies show as we see others thrive, we feel better. Giving has three different levels:

  • Philanthropy — such as writing a check at the end of the year for a charity, there is very little interaction and not a deeper emotional connection although the act is most certainly appreciated.
  • Giving Back — for example, a mining company would give back to a community by planting parks and reforesting an old mine, there’s a feeling of doing something good to better a situation.
  • Contribution – an example is volunteering with elderly or homeless, something that is more interactive with time and energy and also having a deeper emotional connection and understanding of doing something for the greater good of all.

Random acts of kindness will increase your own level of happiness and joy in ways that you might not even expect. The deeper the emotional connection in the giving, the more positive—and lasting—impact it will have with you.

When you consistently practice these three actions of Gratitude, Growth, and Giving, you will notice how it brings more energy and vibrancy to your own life. Play around and experiment with this for a week and see how it makes a difference, not only in your life but also those around you.