I often talk about being thankful. I am thankful for everything in my life. I am truly blessed. I believe that if you live with an attitude of gratitude then you will have more to be thankful for; the more we give thanks, the more we receive.
If you haven’t tried consciously taking the time to be grateful every day, I highly recommend it. I have enjoyed using a conscious gratitude process for many years now in different forms. An example I would like to share happened a few years ago. I was having a really tough day, feeling down and miserable about a whole lot of stuff, mainly stuff that was outside of my control. Rather than continuing to wallow in self pity, I decided that I would shift my attitude using gratitude. I went for a slow walk outside and started to mentally consider all of the things I was grateful for, I even said a few quietly out loud to myself, when nobody was looking. Now remember, I was having a horrible day, so it wasn’t easy, didn’t come naturally and I certainly didn’t feel particularly grateful for anything. So I started small, feeling thankful that I had legs that enabled me to walk, eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to hold. I then started to feel a bit better, so my attention ventured outwards to my environment, the gorgeous day, blue sky, birds singing and so on. My awareness then ventured out further and further and slowly but surely my mood completely changed and I continued to walk and be thankful for quite some time, and came home feeling quite different to how I felt when I left.
I now record in a journal every night a few things I am grateful for each day. I don’t have a set number, some nights I write a big list and others a short one. But one interesting thing I have noticed, is that the longer I do this, the bigger my list gets and the more wonderful things come into my life for me to be grateful for. I often talk to people about this and I find that if they are facing challenges and difficulties in their lives, they just don’t know where to start. I say start small. Give thanks for the roof over your head, the food in your belly, access to fresh clean water, the warm blanket you can snuggle up under on a cold night, friends, family – you get the idea. There has been much attention given to the concept of gratitude lately and there are now lots of lovely books, journals and even iPhone apps to make it easy for us to record those things that we are grateful for every day, but you don’t even need those, just a piece of paper will do. It doesn’t matter how you do it, it’s just important that you do.
Why not start today? What are you grateful for right now?
Give it a few weeks and see how your list grows. I’d love to hear about it!