4 Ways You Can Practise Gratitude This Month - Women's Health

4 Ways You Can Practise Gratitude This Month

According to a meditation and self-love instructor.

by | Sep 8, 2021

There’s no denying it, times are tough and a little confusing right now. Being in lockdown, working from home and living in a constant state of the unknown can wreak havoc on your mental health, motivation and energy.

Currently, one in five Australians report high or very high levels of psychological distress linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, (Australian Bureau of Statistics) emphasising the imperative need to prioritise mental health.

Practicing gratitude has the power to shift our perspective and transform how we see ourselves and our lives. Being grateful is a practise, like being mindful or learning how to meditate. It’s a mindset that we can cultivate through deliberate effort. And when we do the work, over time the benefits start to show up in our lives.

Here are five activities you can do to practice gratitude.

1. Keep a gratitude journal

The way you use your gratitude journal is up to you, but we recommend writing down three things you are grateful for each night before bed or to make it even easier, check in on Calm, with the Gratitude Check-in tool. Building a routine of gratitude into your evenings is a great way to wind down, reflect on your day, and generate positive emotions. This shift in perspective is an excellent way to calm a busy mind before drifting off to dreamland. Calm’s Daily Gratitude Journal is another good way to get started.

2. Try mediation!

Developing a meditation habit can often go hand-in-hand with practicing gratitude. It can be hard but like any habit, it’s all about routine! You can start with a simple mindfulness technique of identifying five things you can see, touch or smell, or bringing something or someone to mind that sparks joy in your life. If you’d like to take your gratitude practise to the next level, Tamara Levitt, Head of Mindfulness at Calm, has created a masterclass series on practicing gratitude. The five part series, exclusively available on Calm will guide you through tools, insights, and inspiration to cultivate this life-changing practise.

3. Gratitude Countdown

Next time you notice yourself caught up in negativity or stress, challenge yourself to a Gratitude Countdown and list ten things you’re grateful for on the spot. To make your countdown most effective, we recommend being specific. Share not only what you’re grateful for, but how and why. By being specific, we’re recalling a distinct memory or setting an actual scene in our mind’s eye, which naturally evokes an authentic feeling of gratitude.

4. Breath of thanks

It’s important to remind ourselves to pause. We often miss out on the small gifts in our lives because we’re so distracted or busy rushing from one task to the next, one video call to the next. It’s useful to remember that practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be a regimented procedure.

Two or three times a day, slow down, stop and bring attention to your breath. For every five to eight exhalations, say the words, “thank you” silently to yourself. We recommend you practice this around three times a week to start feeling the results.

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 

Nike

Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 

Tracksmith

Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 

Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?