Why Practice Gratitude?

When someone tells me they feel stuck in life, in a situation (and with that can come feelings of anger and frustration) one of the first things I recommend is practicing gratitude daily.

Why? What has one got to do with the other?

When you are feeling stuck, there is angst for the perceived injustice, the expectation that was unfulfilled or didn’t turn out the way you wanted, the apology you never received.

Unfortunately, there is little, if anything, we can do to change a situation that has passed. The words have been spoken (or not), time has moved forward and you have not.

When we take a few moments to stop, breathe and list a few things we are grateful for, the more focused you are on the here and now… on today…

You can’t help but become more present because you are really seeing what’s going on around you. You’re not looking back at the past.

When we practice gratitude, we are focused on what’s right in front of us.

To begin practicing gratitude, just start very simply.

  • Find a quiet spot, have a notebook for just this purpose so it’s a special time just for you and your thoughts.
  • Write down 3 things you are grateful for. This can seem overwhelming but to just get started, here are a few things you can use – adapt them for your situation.
  1. I am grateful for the aroma of my coffee this morning.
  2. I am grateful for these crisp sheets, the toasty blanket on my bed.
  3. I am grateful for the birds I can hear singing outside my window.

As you practice you can expand on these things. You’ll want to, it’ll be easy because over time you’ll be noticing more around you. You won’t miss the opportunities right in front of you that bring you joy.

Look around you and you will find a million reasons to be grateful; to be so very glad you’re here where you are right now.

You’ll live life with less stress. You’ll be happier and calmer.

You will be focused on today, not on people or situations you can’t change. You won’t be looking back over your shoulder at yesterday.

Being present is the elixir of life, the inventor of joy. Now, that’s hard to beat.