Are you ever the person late to the party? In my case, the party is every current band or TV show or trend. I don’t ever seem to catch on to them when the rest of the world does, but instead wait until they are but a Wikipedia entry when I finally come to love and praise them to friends who already watched/listened/heard about them a decade earlier. Such is the case with today���s check-in topic: gratitude.
Many years ago, friends of mine in the blogging community started writing down all the things they were grateful or thankful for. For many, this became a way of anchoring themselves in their everyday, a way to center their thinking. It improved their moods, helped them not sweat the small stuff and also document their lives in a positive way. The practice became so popular that journals designed specifically for tracking those things you’re grateful for began popping up as did gratitude books for children. A quick search on Amazon produced 70,000 results for books on gratitude alone.
There is science behind this approach. Studies have linked practicing gratitude to improved mood and relationships, among other very positive findings. But I think most people probably start the practice when they are looking for the sunshine in their days – or maybe when they need to be reminded of it most.
This new COVID-19 era is what prompted me to start. Early on, I found myself slipping into watching every news cycle and losing focus on the good things happening in my everyday, no matter how small they would seem. It’s almost a revelation what turning that around can do for your thinking. Here are the things I’m grateful for as I am writing this.
- My family has a plan to see each other safely in September. I have not seen my mother since February. I am so excited I almost can’t stand it.
- Gimlet (my dog) sleeping until noon and getting such sheer joy from it.
- The show Dateline.
- Hot pink hydrangeas.
- The enthusiastic hello the front desk person at my apartment gives us every morning. He is so kind.
- Working at the COPD Foundation and being a part of this community.
- Diet Coke.
- Health insurance.
- Steve Martin.
Every list is different and that is part of the beauty of it. Do you already practice gratitude in any form? Will you share some of the things you’re grateful for – big or small -- with us?