“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.”
“Today I am grateful for… “
When was the last time you asked yourself that?
I like a lot of people can get lost in all of the things I want in life, whether it be career aspirations, material things or aesthetics. I then spend even more time on social media seeking out those who have all the things I want and convincing my self that once I get there I’ll be content. I’m not saying that I’m not already a happy person but I feel we sometimes place our happiness in that mythical time of “someday” and as we’ve all probably learnt, it’s not always as simple or straight forward as that. It’s funny how actually the closer you get to things you think you want the longer that road seems to become. I’m not saying it’s not right to strive for goals, be better, or do better, but I do think it is so important to appreciate what we do have today, instead of putting all our hope into tomorrow.
I wanted a life filled with pinch me moments, but when I truly reflected on it, it already was.
I’ve had a rough few years, when I really look back it was very hard losing my dad to suicide, not just the death itself but the grief , the depression, the anxiety, the breakdown in friendships, and the loss of faith in this world. But the hardship didn’t lesson on their own over time, it was my mindset that has got me to where I am today. I’ve always wanted a life filled with those pinch me moments and when I lost my Dad I felt as though I’d been robbed of that. But when I truly reflected on what I already had in my life, it was apparent that it was already filled with so many of them. I learnt that instead of yearning for what I’d lost I’d put my focus into gratitude and perspective and it not only got me through such a difficult time, it completely transformed my life.
That all being said, I don’t advocate being positive all of the time because I don’t believe as humans that it is possible. Life is hard, and we need the days where we want to scream, cry and sit on the sofa with ice cream and chocolate. Those lows help us appreciate the highs, but even in our worst days I do believe we can find one thing to be thankful for.
Everyday, I spend 10 minutes listing all the things I am thankful for. It’s usually on my drive to work, so I create mental lists but sometimes I feel it’s even more cathartic to write it down and stick it by my bed so that on the days I do feel sad (which I allow my self to be) it’s like a little list of hope that can really help me through.
So today, here are 10 things that I am grateful for…
- My mum. What a hero.
- My amazing family.
- My health, although I don’t openly talk about some health conditions that I suffer with I am generally pretty healthy, and my body allows me to do what I want it to.
- The years I had with my Dad, as some people have had even fewer with their own parents.
- My friends, who are my lifeline.
- The home I live in, one that’s warm, safe and has always been filled with love.
- My boyfriend who is just the most amazing, wonderful, caring person who came into my life at a time I didn’t even realise I needed him most.
- My job and the opportunities and friends it has brought with it.
- My ability to write and hopefully curate things that are meaningful to others.
- For you, I thankful for everyone to takes the time to read my blogs and reach out to me.
So how do we all incorporate a little more gratitude into our day to day life?
Here are a few of my top tips.
- Start small. All habits start small, so on your daily commute to work, or the first thing you do when you get up in the morning, say to yourself one thing you are grateful for. If you find this difficult perhaps start every other day. It’s sometimes hard to look at our lives from the outside in, but I can assure you once you start finding the little things to be grateful for, you’ll notice your list growing.
- Imagine life without. It’s easy to think about the things we don’t have in life but look around you at all the things you currently have, look at the people around you, the ones who you really couldn’t live without.
- Look inside you. You’ve got some amazing qualities, we all do, it’s what makes us all unique. Spend some time listing those qualities, I mean someone’s got to big ourselves up.
- Write it down. Make lists whether its mental or physical.
- Pay it forward. Tell those around you that you’re grateful for them, show others how much you value them for being there for you and your life.
I truly believe that it is the simplest of habits that can lead to a happier life and for that I’m actually really grateful.
What are you thankful for?