the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful
Gratitude is such a simple, quick, effective way to easily improve our life but I bet if you asked 10 random people how many of them keep a gratitude journal there might only be a couple. I know this because I used to be one of the ones without one and I never heard of anyone I knew writing in one. Sure I was thankful at Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Christmas etc. but I never took the time every day to list 5 things I am grateful for. Now I have an app that reminds me on my phone every 6 hours!
When I first started really getting into personal development a few months ago, gratitude was one of the things every great speaker and mentor talked about. I started to wonder about these people and how they always came up with new things every day. I figured that obviously it was easy for them since they had lots of money and therefore had more things to be grateful for! Then as I listened to the things they were grateful for, hardly ever did they mention material items.
Being grateful is the foundation for abundance and positivity. You can’t receive new things to be grateful for until you recognize what you already have. I also realized that it was one thing to say “I am grateful for my house because it provides me shelter” and a totally different idea to really take the time to feel what that feels like. It’s easy to take 30 seconds to run through 5 things you are grateful for when we first wake up or when we go to bed. It’s when we really take the time to feel how each of these things makes us feel right down to our core that we experience true gratitude. That’s when we begin to see the benefits of being grateful.
One day while I was driving to work, I noticed the sun shining brightly just to the right of the windshield. I remember thinking “I am so grateful for the sunshine and what it represents in the world” and I could feel within myself this calm peacefulness and I began to smile.
Start with small things and repeat the same things every day if you have to. Be grateful that you could open your eyes. It’s hard sometimes to always think of something new. It’s the habit of just doing it that will help you recognize new things you can be grateful for. When you do find something I encourage you to take 10 seconds and really feel how it makes you feel. That 10 seconds could change the tone of your whole day. You will find that once you start doing this your mindset will shift and you will start looking at more things in your life that you can express gratitude for. It will become easier. It’s addictive! Every situation in life, even if it seems like the worst possible thing at the time, can be an opportunity to express gratitude. Be grateful for trying times, they help you appreciate when times are good. Perception is everything and having an attitude of gratitude is what will get you through anything.
Today I came across this Tedx talk by Louie Schwartzberg. The video he plays at the end with the child and the elderly man really exemplifies gratitude. I watched the video and focused on the words of the man, the people and their expressions. Truly heartwarming.
I think I will find 10 things to be grateful for when I go to bed tonight 🙂
What are you grateful for?