Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.William Arthur Ward
Some of us are struggling with finding gratitude and things to be thankful for during this tumultuous time in history. With all of the shootings, acts of terrorism, natural disasters, political discord, sexual harassment and sexual assault, intolerance for difference and hate, it is sometimes really hard to focus on anything else that is positive. It almost seems unnatural to focus on gratitude with everything negative occurring all around us. Although it can be challenging, it is possible to find things to be grateful for, it sometimes takes a lot of work to identify and embrace what is right in our lives instead of what is wrong.
We Have Much To Feel Grateful For
Most of us, however, have a lot to feel grateful for. If we really take the time to sit quietly and tune into ourselves, and what we already have in our lives, most of us will be able to come up with many things to be grateful for.
It might be that we are grateful for our…
It is less about what we possess and more about those people or things in our lives, including our own good qualities that fill our heart and feed our soul. It might be that we feel grateful for living on Long Island, the joy of reading, and our love of music, dance, yoga or art. Perhaps it is our creativity, our love of nature, our sense of humor, our athletic ability, intelligence, or our ability to problem-solve or our spirituality that fills us with gratitude. If we take the time to be mindful, our list can be an extensive one that we continue to add to.
Getting In Touch With Gratitude
Putting attention on what we feel grateful for does not mean that we are ignoring or minimizing what is emotionally painful in our life, whether it is personally or more globally. It just means that it is important for our wellbeing to take the whole picture into account to find the balance between what makes us feel good in our lives and what does not.
There have been many studies that talk about how getting in touch with our gratitude can enhance our feeling of wellbeing, increase happiness and may decrease depression and anxiety. We might also experience a reduction in some physical symptoms such as headaches, gastric issues, and muscle tension if we focus on gratitude. Better sleep patterns; improved coping skills and interpersonal relationships could also be experienced with a shift toward embracing feelings of gratitude.
Discover What Makes Us Feel Grateful
Everybody is different and different things work for different people. The Thanksgiving and holiday season is a wonderful time to begin observing what we are grateful for. To begin this process, however it is important to continue this process throughout the year.
For more tips on embracing gratitude, please click on the link below for my complete article.
My wish for you today is that you are able to discover how the little things in your life can provide happiness and feelings of gratitude every day.
-Kathleen Dwyer Blair, LCSW, BCD
Director Nassau Guidance and Counseling