With the start of this new year, I am filled with deep gratitude for all the beauty, bounties and blessings of life on this precious planet.
Gratitude has been defined as a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness and appreciation for all of life. Spending a few minutes each evening contemplating the things for which I am grateful brings a sense of peace and joy, balancing out life’s frustrations, sorrows and worries.
Comfort and strength come from appreciation of the myriad people, places, events and living beings who have enriched our days and our lives. Gratitude makes us stronger, more buoyant when facing the rough waters in our lives. With a focus on gratitude, we become happier and more satisfied, able to be more mindful of all our interactions.
If you are thinking. . .How can I feel gratitude when there is so much wrong in my life and in our world? . . . here are a few suggestions that may help:
Find a jar, bowl, vase or other container with a color, shape or design that appeal to you. Be sure the top is wide enough to fit your hand, or at least a few fingers, inside. Cut up small strips of colorful paper, maybe 1″ X 3″. Each evening, take a strip of paper and write on it 1 thing that day that you appreciated, enjoyed, or felt happy to have in your life. Be creative – it can be a person, animal, plants, scenery, song, or something as simple as having vision to see, hearing to enjoy music, or any of your other senses.
Start a gratitude journal – it can be any sort of notebook . Each evening, contemplate the day, then write down 3 things/people/animals/places/events/encounters/conversations/whatever that you appreciated or were pleased about. You may be surprised how soon you start wanting to write down even more – indulge yourself – write a whole page of gratitude if you wish!
If you don’t want to take on a writing project, try relaxing at bedtime, sitting or lying down, then taking a few slow, deep breaths. Contemplate the bounties of the day, then speak aloud about those things that made you smile, laugh with joy, or warmed your heart. You will sleep so much better for having done so.