By Blair Lanning
Do you think about the things you have, such as your health, your family, your friends or perhaps your job, or maybe your home. What are YOU grateful for? Dictionary.com describes grateful as “warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefit.”
As I sit here and drink my tea, I look around my environment while pondering the things I’m grateful for. I realize that life will always be a challenge, those uphill moments followed by the slow and smooth easy-going valleys. While I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop, looking around drinking tea, yes, I’m a tea drinker, I observe the other customers working on their laptops or conversing with friends. What are they grateful for? Perhaps something as simple as a good cup of coffee or a single moment with no chaos.
You may be thinking that your life is too hard, and you don’t know what to do about it. I’m not here to tell you what to do. What I want to suggest to you is to start a gratitude habit. When you begin to take a moment or two throughout your day to be grateful, you may notice that your mood becomes lighter, your sleep starts to be better, and with consistent gratefulness, your life improves.
I want to suggest to you to take time in your busy day to start “a gratitude habit”. Savor the moments you are grateful for while you work on feeling good about yourself. Writing your feelings down in a journal may help you. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be as simple as: Today I am grateful for hot coffee, sleeping children, school, friends, and sunshine.
If you practice gratitude regularly, you may notice that your life has a better outlook. NAMI California (National Alliance on Mental Health) has research that shows gratitude can reduce stress and improve physical and mental health. NAMI states, “…many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed….”
Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel forced at first, this mental state grows stronger when you use it and practice it. It may alleviate pain, improve you overall health including your mental health, encourage healthy eating, and change your brain…for the better.
Be grateful by:
- Saying thank you.
- Appreciating others.
- Creating an attitude of gratitude.
- Writing a letter or sending a card to someone who made a difference in your life.
I am grateful for the following websites that contributed information to this article – heart.org, namica.org
Grateful and thankful for You!