So these past couple of weeks nothing crazy, epic or even that interesting has happened. I haven’t had any major life changes or huge dilemmas that have pierced my heart or touched me deeply in some way.
Then I started thinking. Isn’t that exactly the way life is? We go through seasons. Seasons of joy and seasons of sorrow. Seasons of action and seasons of waiting. For this very short time nothing terribly exciting has happened and while we all want to be interesting and we all love to have interesting things to talk about, I’m thankful for this slow time in my life.
No, this post probably isn’t going to change the world, but I think it’s relatable. I’m often so busy and caught up in my own life that I don’t ever pause to look around me and take it all in.
I’m thankful for every day of the year, but with Thanksgiving coming up, I’m trying to be more intentional to start my day off with gratitude. I made a list of every possible thing that I was blessed to have in my life and it really made me realize how wonderful this life is.
I think the reason it’s so easy to forget how blessed we truly are is because we get distracted. We run and we rush and we forget to slow down and simply appreciate today.
I want people to practice gratitude.
1. Gratitude boots your mood
Why be moody when you can shake yo booty :p ?
According to Robert Emmons who is one of the world’s leading scientific experts on gratitude, grateful people have “higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism, and lower levels of depression and stress.”
Gratitude helps us to not only feel good at the moment, but it also has long-lasting effects on our mood. Other than boosting your mood, Grateful people experience more energy, they are more motivated, and they sleep better.
Think about it, when you spend less time thinking about what you don’t have and more time thinking about what you do have you shift from a negative mindset to a positive one. So wouldn’t it make sense that being grateful can have a positive effect on other aspects of your life?
Let’s also be real, happy people tend to be more attractive because you attract a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. A smile looks great on you ;).
2. Gratitude improves relationships
When we practice gratitude and are thankful for the people in our lives and everything that they do for us, we start appreciating them more. It makes us thankful for everything that we’ve experienced with them and all of the moments in between.
An attitude of gratitude would naturally make you want to express thanks through words and acts of kindness. We become less self-centered and more giving.
When our loved ones feel appreciated they feel valued and want to give the love right back. Talk about a boomerang effect.
3. Gratitude helps you to be more appreciative
I don’t know about you, but when I don’t remember to practice gratitude I neglect a lot of aspects in my life, both big and small.
I forget things like what a blessing it is to be able to walk, talk, the freedom to think for myself, have food in my belly every day, people I care about, the list goes on and on, but I often take those things for granted.
I’ve been trying to do more “old school things” to remind myself that sometimes simple really is better.
Try walking or riding a bike whenever you can instead of driving your car and if you must drive then take the scenic route. Slow down a bit and take it all in.
I know mixtapes and even CD’s are out of date, but try to make those important people in your life a playlist on your Spotify, Pandora, or Apple music. It seems silly, but think about how special you’ll make them feel because they know when you heard those songs it made you think of them. If you have the ability to make someone’s day, do it.
Send fewer texts and write more letters. Writing letters is a dying art. Something about receiving a handwritten letter is so romantic and when you write a letter I promise you it’s 10 times more meaningful than a text because it’s a thoughtful gesture.
And while we’re talking about phones, try putting yours down. We as a society are driven by technology. We stayed glued to our phones, computers, and televisions.
Try unplugging every now and then. When you’re with people REALLY be with people. Stop distracting yourself from your blessings.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” -William Arthur Ward