The Magic of Gratitude
With Thanksgiving only a couple days away, there is a common theme of showing gratitude lighting up my Facebook feed. It always happens around this time of year, everyone has an outpouring of gratitude and love for their families, friends, and their situations.
But what about the rest of the year? How come Thanksgiving is the only time we are laser focused on being grateful, and what would happen if we changed that?
I’ve recently read a tip about gratitude that has changed the course of my days. It went something like this: Whenever you’re feeling angry or upset about something, think about three things you are grateful for in that moment. Life changing. It is really hard to be mad when you think of the things you are grateful for.
Let me illustrate this in an example that happens to me quite frequently, and one you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram: Lou, my one-year-old son, has a daily ritual of flipping our dog Rascal’s food and water bowl upon entering the kitchen. The first time it’s funny, the tenth time it gets incredibly irritating. So when this happens, I think to myself how lucky I am to have such a curious child that can run around and play to his hearts desire. And I am so grateful that I can afford to continually fill my dog’s food and water. I am also grateful that I am home to witness this every day. And then I quickly divert his attention to the nearest banana. Bananas are the key to a toddler’s heart… and a great distractor. There’s your parenting tip for the day!
Now, back to gratitude. Here are some of the ways I have chosen to implement showing gratitude into my daily life, and I can truly say that gratitude is a direct route to happiness.
Each morning when you wake up, make a list of the things you are grateful for. This can be a mental list or a written list. Who are you grateful for, what are you grateful for? When you look at all you have to be grateful for, you go into your day with a greater sense of satisfaction.
When you start thinking “I wish I had more of…” think of all you do have.
We all want more of something, but take a minute and look at what you have an abundance of. Be grateful for that!
When you’re angry with someone, find something to be grateful of that person for. There’s no faster way to quell your anger than by showing gratitude. And you just might realize that thing you’re angry about isn’t really that big of a deal.
When you’re feeling upset or down about something, make a list of what you’re grateful for. Again, just a flip of the switch and you’re back to a positive way of thinking! (See the theme here?)
These are only a handful of ways to introduce gratitude into your daily routine. Even if you just try one, I bet you’ll see phenomenal results!
Do you have daily gratitude rituals? Tell me about them!
PS: I’m grateful for YOU! Thank you for giving me a little of your love and attention today. And of course, have a fantastic Thanksgiving!