For the last couple of years I’ve practiced “daily gratitude,” where I quiet my mind for a few moments in the morning and consciously think about the things I’m grateful for. Anything, big or small. This gets my day started on a positive note. I do this almost every day and am working at being consistent with it.
Taking time to think about what I’m grateful for is very powerful and puts daily stuff into perspective. Acknowledging how lucky I am and being specific about why I’m grateful– even for the tiniest good thing – helps take my focus off what may otherwise be irritating or upsetting, and brings more good into my life.
When I began practicing this I planned to write a journal entry for it every morning. Truth be told, I think the plan lasted a day or two. I found I was far too easily distracted. (An energetic kindergartener jumping on you first thing in the morning will do that to you).
So what works for me now is:
1) finding quiet head space where I can reflect for a few minutes. Although mental quiet can be difficult to come by, I usually find it in the shower – which is great, since that’s the start of my day – or when I’m driving somewhere alone.
2) speaking aloud what I’m grateful for. I find this more effective and concrete than simply having a fleeting thought about being grateful for something random.
As I suggested in Finding the Good, I make a conscious choice to try to see the good in all situations… no matter how deeply hidden it is. So, in the spirit of being positive, I’m going to list what I’m grateful for today:
The big stuff. Family. Friends. Good neighbours. Our health. Our beautiful new kitten (even though she peed on the duvet yesterday… *sigh*).
The smaller – but also important – stuff. The deep belly laughs of my five-year-old. My 15-month-old running to me and giving me a full-body hug. The amazing soup my husband made yesterday. My five-year-old saying “thank you” to someone, unprompted. The parking ticket guys deciding to be generous and not give me a ticket for parking illegally (apparently) outside my son’s school this morning. Having a bit of time to calmly grocery shop by myself (a rarity).
Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows posted an entry today called The Gratitude Challenge, where she suggests readers choose a “gratitude buddy.” You and your buddy commit to having a conversation at the end of each day to discuss five things you’re grateful for. Such a great idea: you’re both accountable for sharing happiness. What could be better than that?
What are you grateful for today?