It’s about to be hustle and bustle, family gatherings and all those bring, decorating and all that brings, buying gifts and all that brings, holiday baking, traditions and obligations, time crunches, money crunches…Oh. My. Goodness. Not all of these things are bad, but when we look at the bigger picture all these things as a whole can definitely be super stressful for some of us, especially those of us who may be in charge of all the things.
Let me introduce to you one simple thing that might really help you (and everyone who has to deal with you) this season: gratitude.
Now before you go telling me that you’re plenty grateful for what you have, just hang on a second. Pump your brakes.
Think about your day today. How many times have you been grateful? How many times? Once? Twice? Not at all? Sure, in the larger picture when we’re thinking about our lives, we’re grateful for our families, our own health, the roof over our head, the wifi access we’re currently reading this on…
Gratitude can be a way of life. And once we start thinking of it more frequently, we start looking for ways to be grateful, and that is life-altering.
PUPPIES! I’m always grateful for puppies
I’m old enough to remember this book and journal that were featured on Oprah. I don’t get any compensation for mentioning them, but I wanted to share them with you today because they really changed the way I thought throughout my day. Day one, not a whole lot changed. At the end of my day when I wrote in my gratitude journal, I was writing about big picture things: my family, my home, etc. Day two, it was more of the same. After about a week or so, though, that song and dance was exhausted. I had to start looking for more creative ways to be grateful. So throughout my day, I found myself examining things more closely; mundane items and actions became more significant.
I’m grateful for googly eyes, ice scrapers, and tights (but not pantyhose. ugh).
I found that each day became a new chance to find ways to be grateful. I found new appreciation for the food I was eating, the interactions I was having, the very actions I was taking – did you know there’s Zen in cleaning? Yeah. It’s something else.
It’s definitely an exercise I think you should try. At the end of the day, write down three things you’re grateful for. It’s easy. The only challenge is that they can’t be the same from day-to-day. You can write them down on the back of an envelope, or you can go all out and buy yourself a pretty journal. Either way, just get those three things down in list form. Set a reminder in your phone for the end of the day if you have to. Then pay attention to the way your thoughts change over time. It’s a pretty amazing thing.