Growing up, my parents worked very hard to provide a quality childhood for me and my sister.
From family vacations every summer, to always letting us get some cute new outfits before the school year started…
Looking back – we were pretty spoiled.
Even when we were going through hard times, my parents stood strong and carried us through and never, ever complained.
My sister and I didn’t recognize it at the time, but our parents gave us a lot to be grateful for.
In going through the motions of life, it’s easy to forget how fortunate we truly are.
Now, looking in the rear view mirror, I see how much I have to be grateful for.
The lie they tell you:
Okay, so you need to have a gratitude journal and wake up each day, write down 3 things you are grateful for.
Then every week you are going to call 2 people that you are thankful for, and then every night you are going to reflect on 10 things that you appreciate…
“Sigh.” There’s no way I’ll ever stay committed to that…
These are all fantastic ideas, but putting them all into practice consistently is unrealistic.
(Don’t get me wrong, if you are successfully doing any of these things, you are a rock star and should keep doing it!!)
That said, these practices usually last for one week… then life gets busy, you forget, and you slip back into your same old habits and mindsets.
Gratitude is more than having a gratitude journal…
…gratitude is a mindset and a habit.
Just as you have to practice riding a bike when you are young, or learn how to type without looking at your fingers, or how to bake the perfect loaf of bread (if anyone knows me, they know I am obsessed with bread), you have to practice being grateful.
If we know anything about making a habit, we know that it takes consistency, but it also takes mindful effort.
One simple trick:
Incorporate a gratitude pause into your “transition moments.”
What does this mean? Well, let me give you a couple examples…
- When you park in the parking lot and are getting ready to head into work, practice a moment of gratitude…
- When you are turning on your computer and it is taking a bit to load, practice a moment of gratitude…
- As you are sitting down to eat dinner, and are waiting on a few others to come and sit down, practice a moment of gratitude…
Rather than writing down a list of the things you are grateful for everyday, while that is a good thing, try to just recognize the things you are grateful for in certain moments.
Why is it so important to practice gratitude in your daily thoughts?
Gratitude increases happiness in yourself and those around you. We are all seeking to be content, and a daily practice of gratitude is one of the best ways to do it.
When we allow ourselves to be present in the moment it is so much easier to feel grateful for our surroundings.
Take a few moments today to step back, take a deep breath, and enjoy the moment you are in.
Feeling stuck and overwhelmed? Here’s what’s coming up this fall: