More and more often in my days, I arrive at the conclusion that as humans, the biggest part of our lives today, largely revolves around getting things and/or getting them done. Example here: go to work each day to fulfill tasks in order to get that $$ at the end of the month. However, is it really OK to be this focused on constantly receiving than on what we actually have…?
It’s almost that time of the year when we are naturally prone to sit by the window and contemplate the ending year as we watch the snow fall from the sky. In one such moment just a few days ago I actually came to the blunt realization that a lot of times our lives and up being a constant race towards the next goal; so much so that we don’t take the time to appreciate the current one. Which is kind of important. This constant hassle to get more and be more and do more can get very exhausting, very fast. I’d even dare to say that it might be the reason for the spike in depression lately… In my opinion, simply taking the time to slow down and actually see and feel the win you have just made can do wonders: no matter if it’s completing a big work project or just managing to keep the kids alive and fed for the day, when we really stop and appreciate our own efforts, we become naturally aware of how awesome we are.
Being thankful is two-folded like that: first, you look around and notice all the things you have (and you have a lot, trust me) and second, you get to really see the efforts and work you’ve put in to get here. Gratitude is really on my list of things to do for the day, because it’s essential for our well-being; plus, it takes close to no time at all! What I like to do is account for at least 2 things I am grateful for at the end of each day. That can be done while having a glass of wine after a long day at work or while snuggling in bed, before I drift off into dreamland. And all it takes is a bit of focus to remember to do it! It really is that simple.
And the best part is that gratitude has it’s way of seeping into your life when it feels noticed and welcome: the more we take time with it, the more of it we’ll have. How do I know? Some simple hints include…
We start saying “thank you” more. This one is so easy I am smiling just writing it! When we realize we have SO much to be grateful for, we start noticing every effort others around us make as well. And thank you is not just that anymore; saying it is now coupled with indulging in the feeling of it.
We notice the good. Opening our minds to the blessings we already have makes us naturally happy about the little things around us. Things like someone smiling at you on the street; or doing a small good for someone else; or rain on a lazy Sunday. These might have gone unnoticed for a while, but with gratitude, our eyes open up to them again. And, you know, the more we notice, the more we get.
We share the gratitude. When we are consciously thankful for what we have, this tends to get passed on to people around us as well. We (knowingly or not) teach others to appreciate the small victories in life by expressing gratitude often, by pointing out the good instead of the bad, by making an effort to stay positive. That’s not a small feat, trust me!
So, what are you grateful for today?