grading gratitude

We are all living in the hustle & shuffle of everyday life. The running, fetching, pleading and pushing becomes taxing overtime. In the long haul a day can bring we're lucky if we get a little bit of sanity thrown into the mix in the form self care. The hectic nature of today's lifestyle can breed frustration, angst and a lasting sense of edginess (& I'm not talking about the kind of edge that fosters personal growth).

We live in a world where at the best of times responsibilities seem insurmountable and points of contact come from everywhere and are often relentless. A constant stream of what to do's can wreck havoc on our well being. What if I told you 5 mins a day could change everything. Yup, you might just find yourself on your head ... doing the splits while spinning from sheer happiness ! I kid you not. 

The act of being grateful for something every day does not buy you more time, but it does help you cope-float through your day with ease.

This past week, every morning before my day kicked into high gear, I sat up in bed and thought of 3 - 5 things I was grateful for. I didn't write them down, I didn't say them out loud and I didn't impose any rules. I just sat back with the corners of my mouth turned up and thought of things that I was really grateful for. It was so easy and pleasant, and set such a lovely happy tone to the rest of my day. 

It is my opinion that any time of day is a good time for gratitude, especially when times are rough, stuck or fearful. Gratitude helps us see our situation differently, it calms our thought process and opens our mind to new solutions. However our tendency is to focus on the negatives in life, which is why the act of gratitude requires practice. And, what's not love about something that takes 5 minutes a day and completely shifts your whole perspective. 

Benefits of practicing gratitude

  • Gratitude helps us put situations into perspective. When we can see the good and the bad, it becomes more difficult to disapprove and stay stuck.
  • Gratitude helps us recognize what we have. This can decrease our need to want more all the time.
  • Gratitude reduces stress, improves health, strengthens relationships, and, in general, makes us happier.

Why gratitude works

Check out this video by Dr. Christine Carter. A sociologist at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Christine Carter, Ph.D.

Gratitude gadgets

We don't need gizmos to get our gratitude mojo going, most of the magic happens in our hearts, heads and souls. But if tools tickle your fancy and help you give gratitude then by all means, capture joy till your heart's content. 

Gratitude Journal : Encourages you to write at least five good things daily.Carla White, a self proclaimed full time gratitude pusher has a dream, to get everyone on the planet on a daily gratitude habit.

Happier : Celebrate the good around you. Happier helps you notice the awesome things that already exist in your life.

Today I'm grateful for the smile on my face and the dog on my lap.