“Look for reasons to be grateful — even when you’re struggling. Taking time to give thanks for even the smallest blessings can help you appreciate the good things in your life.” —Dr. Amit Sood, Mayo Clinic
These simple, yet wise words are a reminder that no matter what life brings us, being positive can help shift our perspective. To kick start your path to gratitude, consider the following suggestions.
Be grateful for having a healthy, well-functioning body. The human body’s organs, structure, and myriad of systems come together to form a complex, well-functioning physical being. Start your day by giving thanks for the miracle of life.
Slow down your busy, chaotic lifestyle. Do less and focus on what’s most important; this is better for our adrenal and nervous systems, and our hearts. Cancel unnecessary appointments, postpone meetings, and be realistic with your schedule and commitments. Life is not about getting through a to-do list; it’s about being happy and enjoying the simple, precious moments.
Focus on your family and friends. Set aside time to be with them with an open heart, and truly feel the loving bond between you. In stressful times, our closest relatives can bear the brunt of our negative attitude. By being conscious of the way we interact with them, we can deepen the connection and enjoy each other even more. Dinners, family game nights, writing postcards to friends, listening to music or playing instruments, are a few ideas for getting together in a fun, meaningful ways.
Remember that community kindness goes a long way in times of need. Do you have neighbors who have trouble getting out because of their age or health? Consider helping them with chores, picking up groceries, doing yard work, or just knocking on their door to check in on them. Make the most of your mobility and good health by taking care of those who make your life rich and rewarding.
Life can throw curve balls all the time, but how we react to them is what makes us who we are. By being in a state of genuine gratitude, we can foster more thankfulness, love, and kindness, which makes all the difference to ourselves, our family, our friends, and our community. Try it today and see how you feel.