Our Diabetic South Africans community member, Krsangi Radhe, continues with her series of articles on mindfulness for diabetes with these tips for a gratitude practice. Krsangi is the founder of Sankalpa Coaching, an NLP practitioner, life coach time-line therapist and educator in the public sector. She gives us 5 ways to feel grateful with diabetes.
Gratitude: a mindfulness practice
Living with a chronic illness is not easy. Actually, right now as the world faces COVID-19, every day can feel overwhelming. Diabetes management during this time becomes more difficult – one more thing to have to worry about. One mindfulness practice that can change how you see the world is gratitude.
Life happens, and it is so easy to get caught up with all that is going on around us. We are all feeling more anxious with the rise of Coronavirus cases as days pass. Here are a few ways that you can use gratitude to focus on all the wonderful parts of your life.
1. Appreciate the simple blessings of life
It’s easy to fall into the trap of taking food, shelter, a warm bed and a comfortable home for granted. Being mindful of these blessings will place other aspects of your life in perspective. Certain things may seem like ‘simple blessings’ for you, yet for others those simple blessings would be a gift. Have a grateful heart for all that you have in your life – simple or otherwise. Focussing on simple pleasures will help you see the more challenging aspects of your day more clearly.
2. Keep a gratitude journal / jar
I love writing, but don’t often write about what I’m grateful for. Many believe that writing is a long process, but a gratitude journal can just be a line a day. Or use an old pickle jar or vase to pop in a piece of paper with a daily written gratitude. A short sentence that begins with, “Today I am grateful for….. “ When you practice writing down something, it feels more powerful. Writing down your daily gratitude for 30 consecutive days will make you more focussed on looking for the good things in your life. This is also a great family activity.
3. Turn negative life lessons into something positive
It’s not always easy to look at a negative situation and find something good in it. This is especially true when you are caught up in that moment and everything seems to be just doom and gloom. Why has this happened? What did you do to deserve it? But if you look for that silver lining in every situation, you will soon find that you can cope better. If you focus on how bad your days are, you see lots of negativity. When you look at a negative situation as a way to grow, become stronger and learn more about yourself, you will see it as a blessing and a challenge.
4. Accept the days when you feel down
It’s so important to be in the moment and experience the emotions that you find yourself facing – even if those are sad or angry. Feel it all and then let it go. Do not be attached to a negative space. As you find yourself feeling down or wallowing about all that is going wrong in your life, quickly pull yourself up and focus on all that is actually going well for you.
5. Spend time with loved ones
Focus on those relationships that spark joy in your life, and you will be filled with gratitude for the love you have. Family and friends are so important. Keeping connection with those that have your best interests at heart will keep you feeling good. Even though we may not be able to visit and socialise at the moment, we can still communicate and keep our hearts full of love.
“Be grateful for every sunrise, for with each ray of light there is renewed hope.”
Krsangi Radhe is the founder of Sankalpa Coaching – a coaching practice based in Durban. She consults locally and internationally (via online platforms) and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org. www.sankalpacoaching.co.za