The practice of gratitude
I have to admit I'm a little late to the gratitude practice party. I've read about the benefits of having a daily practice that incorporates writing down things you're grateful for, but it didn't really grab me until we went into self-isolation back in March. At that point, I began to have more time in my mornings, so I thought I'd add it to the collection of wellness techniques I'd already been doing (which included meditation, pranayama, and sipping ginger/lime tea).
I found a cute little notebook that I'd stashed for something just like this and jotted some things down. I decided to write one full page of things that I'm grateful for each morning. I assumed that would be super easy to do, and for the most part it is. However, some days it's more difficult than I'd anticipated to fill up that entire page.
There are the obvious things: I'm grateful for my kids, for my boyfriend, my family, my friends, my pets, my good health, my house, a cup of warm coffee... you get the gist. Most days I could go on and on about all of the goodness I have in my life. Other days -- the days when I'm concerned about my family's collective health, my financial situation, or concerned about all of the reasons to be outraged with the current political climate -- the list of items I'm grateful for don't flow as freely from brain to pen to paper.
On those days, when I'm feeling the weight of the world resting heavily in my chest, I go back to the basics. I find gratitude for the charming birdsong that's floating through my windows. I'm grateful for the cloudy morning. I'm thankful that I woke up and have another day to be the best version of myself that I can be. I take the opportunity to pause first thing and appreciate the moment that I have right there, to reflect, to breathe, and to give my snow globe of a mind the chance to settle.
Maybe you'd like to join me in this practice. Maybe you've already been doing it and have felt the difference it's made in your life. You don't need a cute notebook -- you don't really need to write it down at all if you don't want to. Just taking a few moments at the beginning of the day, thinking about all of the things that you're grateful for, will bring about changes in your perspective and begins the day on a positive note.