At this point in my life I’ve come to realize a couple of things with absolute certainty. A) Money does not buy you happiness & B) Cultivating gratitude increases our well-being and happiness. As far back as I can remember I honestly held the belief that I was someone that bad things just happened to. That I was destined to live a mediocre life – struggling just to even hang onto the mediocre. Which does not sound very fun, does it?
Enter gratitude. Just a small simple word really but many of us tend to brush it off on a regular basis. We get so wrapped up in our daily drama and negatives that we completely forget about this one humble term. Gratitude is an emotion that expresses appreciation for what one has - as opposed to a consumer driven emphasis on what one wants. Sounds corny I know but just hear me out. It wasn’t until I switched my “whoa is me” mindset and incorporated thankfulness that my world started showing improvement. So, where does one start? I began with a gratitude journal. Every morning I jot down 10 things that I’m thankful for. It can be super simple things like the fabulous cup of coffee you’re enjoying or the restful sleep you got the previous night. It may sound daunting but once you get into it you’ll likely find that there are far more than 10 things you can think of each morning. For me, doing this first thing kind of gets my day started off on the right track. Especially on days that you’re really not looking forward to. Up until the beginning of 2018 I’ve kept a small, smooth rock on my nightstand – my gratitude rock. Every evening before going to sleep I would see it and think of 3 things that were really great about my day. Again, it doesn’t have to be mind blowing things. It could be as simple as catching up and having lunch with a friend. Now I’ve replaced my rock with a beautiful four leaf clover that was a gift. Instead of keeping it on my nightstand I usually carry it around with me throughout the day. When I reach into my purse or pocket and see it, I’m continuously reminded of all that there is to be thankful for. It’s a gift that keeps on giving the whole year through. What are some of the ways you practice gratitude?