How to Feel More Connected, Grateful and Purposeful
Updated: Oct 19, 2019
By: Nicole Bentley, LCSW
Do you ever feel that each day is passing you by without much meaning? Have you ever felt aimless and wondered why you are going to work, doing chores, or helping a friend? You can easily combat these feelings by connecting with your values.
Connecting with your values is a two step process that inserts meaning into your daily choices, increases your level of gratitude, and places you in the driver’s seat of your life.
The first step is to attach a value to the choices you make throughout the day. There is no judgment here, and no right or wrong. Simply ask yourself “why am I doing this?” and “what value does this serve?” For example, at work you might find that you value security, wealth, learning, growth, or helping others…just to name a few! As you move throughout your day, practice this skill. Of course, you can place more than one value on each action or task.
The second step is to have some reflective time at the end of the day. Simply reflect on the values you attached to your choices during the day and see if you notice any themes or patterns. Continue this exercise for the rest of the week ahead, and each night reflect on the values you came up with. By the end of the week, you will have learned what some of your top values are, and how you choose to pursue them as well.
This exercise will help you to feel more in control of your day-to-day actions, and connected to the meaning behind your choices. For example, maybe you value growth, which is served by your job; connection, which is served by your weekly phone calls with your family members; and fun, which is served by the intramural sport team you recently joined. Moving forward, there will be an increased sense of purpose and meaning to your actions and choices.
Additionally, this exercise will allow you to feel more grateful in you
r day-to-day life. When you learn what your values are, it becomes an honor to be able to serve those values regularly. For example, if you value family and you pursue that value by seeing your siblings most weekends, suddenly that action that you might not have thought much of before now becomes something to be grateful for.
By engaging in an activity like this one, you are likely to feel empowered, connected and grateful, but you are also sending yourself a very positive message, one that speaks to how highly you value yourself and your mental health. That message is priceless, and one that we can never receive too often.