Give Thanks Everyday!
Updated: Nov 22, 2021
Every day is a new day to give thanks or show gratitude! Each day upon waking, we choose our next action. It varies for all of us but could include: going to the bathroom, making coffee, practicing yoga, scrolling your phone, drinking water, sending a text, sitting quietly, starting work and on and on and on. We have such power in making that choice and taking control of our day. Several years ago, I made a choice to show gratitude daily.
One of my life principles goes like this ~ how you start your day is pretty much how your day is going to go, especially your thought patterns. With this in mind, I decided to start a morning gratitude journal. It was simple. I opened up an old journal and began writing what I was grateful for. It sounds simple but in reality it was not. I struggled. Some mornings I wrote and others I didn’t BUT I wanted to. It was a piece of my spiritual practice that was missing. It took me a while to figure out that my lack of writing was not about being an ungrateful person but more about forming a new habit. Which is hard work. Agree??
I’ll tell you why. Creating a new habit takes time. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, indicates that it takes anywhere from 2-8 months to build a new behavior. You also have to start with a small and simple step. Leo Babauta, editor/writer says, “Make it so easy you can't say no.” Brilliant, right? Of course but most of us shoot for the moon and then never land. Over time, I decided to write two sentences of gratitude when I put pen to paper. I thought it would be a small step and one sentence would express gratitude toward myself and the other for someone else. This exercise was also a way to show self love which I often forget. Habits also form when you build mental muscle that helps build mental strength which leads to habit automation. So it’s important to implement your habit enough but also be practical. I decided 3x/week would fit this bill. I also made sure I had my journal and pen right next to my bed. The location of my tools was also key in making it easy. So my gratitude practice is a work in progress. It’s not automated but I’m taking steps to get there.
So while there is a big American holiday this week, Thanksgiving, I hope this is not the only time of your year, month, week or day to “give thanks.” (I’ll be honest with you though, it used to be for me). Give thanks and show your gratitude as often as you can, especially in the morning. This practice will increase positivity, can help with your mood and potentially decrease stress. It’s the best way to wake up and put yourself in the right frame of mind. To make it even easier, speak out loud what you are grateful for. You don’t even have to write it down.
Today, I show gratitude for my supportive PeaksandPoses community and the amazing health that I have at the age of 60. What are you grateful for? I would really like to know.