Gratitude is often seen as the key to well-being and happiness.
Whether expressing gratitude by writing in a gratitude journal or by reminiscing about gratitude, being aware of the ways we are grateful benefits us and the world we live in.
I love writing in my gratitude journal because it reminds me of how fortunate I am even when times are tough. Some of the things I'm grateful for are seemingly quite small but still have a big impact because everything is significant.
When we are in gratitude for those things that pass in and out of our lives, we can open to the love of all that is. We can start to see those things that cause pain or hardship as one aspect of our life, not the only aspect. And gratitude allows us to be in a moment of loving reflection for the positive.
For example, paying bills can be a hardship sometimes, but being grateful for the food that nourishes us, the heat in our homes, and the gas in our cars that those bills represent can flip writing a check to the credit card company from an experience of pain to a practice of gratitude. An interesting experiment is to one by one review each item on your credit card bill, recall the item, and express gratitude for it. How has this item made your life better? How would life be without it? Whenever I have done this exercise, I have so much gratitude for each item that paying the bill becomes an act of gratitude.
I invite you to start a gratitude journal where you can see and reflect on what you have in your life to be grateful for. Start off by listing out 10 things that you are grateful for from the day before. Continue with that for a couple of weeks and then write out 2 or 3 things each day and expand on them with a few sentences. You might find that you want to write a few paragraphs! Some studies show that writing in a gratitude journal 2 or 3 times a week might be more beneficial than every day. Do what feels right for you.
Having a practice of being in gratitude can be life changing. There is so much to be grateful for and a regular gratitude practice can help us become aware of the beauty in our lives and not just the hardship. If gratitude is the key to well-being and happiness, it seems that it's worth trying.
11/30/2017 07:21:08 am
This week I wrote out my last tuition payment for my oldest son. With the check, I included a note thanking the university for its role in the past four years worth of experiences that have contributed to the growth and development of the wonderful young man whom he has become. I am so grateful to have been able to provide this opportunity for him and although it hasn't always been easy, it has been a cooperative effort with many people involved in the process. I am grateful for who my son is and the university had something to do with that through the experiences he has had (both good and bad) over his time in school. It is totally worth a simple thank you.
11/30/2017 08:47:32 am
Thank you for sharing. This wonderful example of gratitude teaches us that life is about giving, receiving, and acknowledging. Sending a written thank-you is putting a bow on this beautiful gift. Thank you.
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