If you’re anything like me, you know the miraculous benefits of practicing gratitude, but perhaps fall short when it comes to applying it on a regular basis. Don’t feel bad—-it’s human nature to notice what’s “wrong” in our environment. After all, our survival throughout history has often depended on it.
But the experience of gratitude need not interfere with our ability to perceive threat or keep our families safe. Feeling grateful for all we have and all we are, in fact, boosts our immunity to all sorts of life’s ills. In reality, gratitude has no downside (except that sometimes hearing the word evokes guilt). Not to worry—-gratitude can be quickly and painlessly learned.
Someone recently told me that Louise Hay starts each day by opening her eyes and thanking her bed for giving her a nice place to sleep. Apparently she thanks her mattress, her pillow, her sheets and comforter, “Thank you, blankets, for keeping me warm.” No-brainer, right? The bed didn’t collapse or burst into flames in the night, and you’re stoked. (And now you’re actively engaged in the gratitude process!)
I liked this because no matter what’s going on in your life, if you have a decent place to lay your head at night, at least you have that to be grateful for. And my experience is that once you start noticing things to be grateful for, it’s hard to stop. Before you know it, you’re appreciating your diagnosis, your thighs, and all the annoying people in your life!
So, this week I ask you to make a practice of appreciation. Keeping a gratitude journal is a beautiful and brag-worthy endeavor, of course, but if you can’t muster the energy to write stuff down, at least spend two minutes at the beginning or end of each day noticing things you are grateful for. (Note that quantity is just as important as quality when it comes to appreciation, so feel free to list anything you are grateful for—-bacon, short skirts, weekends, you name it! The more the better.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing a moment of your day with me. I am truly grateful.