This has been a super long year. Although many sad and scary things have occurred, and are still going, I have so many things to be grateful for. We all do!
With the pandemic, election year, loss in almost every way possible happening…my oldest son got married! I am overwhelmed because first of all, I am fabulous and don’t look like I have a 27 year old that can make a decision so huge! (kidding..or am I?) Nah, my daughter-in-law is great and my son is a Blessed man. That same son became a firefighter and decided that he and I should pursue doing a podcast together! We have and it is so much fun. More on that a little later.
With all of the lack that we are seeing, we still have to find a way to love. I hurt for people that have had the virus, whatever the outcome. I also hurt for all of us because there is no control over what is happening. In all of this, especially in this season, gratitude is needed. Even with all that is going on, if you are here to feel any of this, you have something to be grateful for. It may take a minute to think about it but it is there.
Gratitude is the expression of appreciation for what you have. That gratitude can go beyond anything of monetary worth. I used to have a gratitude journal and it really put things in perspective when I was feeling bad about how things were going in my life. I think that I may need to start another one of those! The more we make a conscious effort to count our blessings, the more we appreciate our lives and the people and things, big and small, in our lives. There are so many social and personal benefits in living with gratitude.
When I am feeling grateful, I feel like it gives me a boost of happiness and peace. I know that it does wonders for my mental and physical health. I was looking forward to seeing my dad for Thanksgiving this year but with all of the pandemic chaos and whatever else is going on, I cannot see him and I am disappointed. On the same note, my dad is still here and he is healthy so I am grateful and at peace with waiting to see him when the world opens up again…safely!
People who are grateful are in a lot les pain, have less stress, have stronger immune systems, experience happier relationships and do better academically and professionally. Don’t you wanna be that person? Don’t you wanna have the ability to shift your thoughts from negative emotions and words? Lessen those feelings of jealousy, envy, and the other emotions that take us to places like depression. Gratefulness increases our mental resilience and this can cause us to be less likely to have mental health problems.
How to practice gratitude
I feel like being around people that love and support me is big when it comes to me practicing gratitude. I am so much more appreciative of life itself, especially in the climate we are in. There is so much confusion and divisiveness…we need to find light in all of this darkness. There have a been a lot of tough decisions to make and if we see that as a gift, it may lesson the stress of having to make them. Different things make each of us feel grateful because we are not all the same. Sometimes it is as simple as a shower, a nice cup of hot coffee or volunteering to help someone else. I think gratitude is contagious at times. I always feel like I should “pay it forward” when someone is kind to me. Do you?
Ways to Foster Gratitude
- Write a thank you note/text/email to a loved one
- Keep a journal to note the big and little joys you experience daily
- Write down or acknowledge three good things that have gone well for you daily
- Think about people that inspire you and how they are significant in your life.
- Imagine what your life would be like if some positive event had not happened in your life. They call that “mental subtraction”. It really does bring about gratitude for those things.
Thankful and Grateful
Our mental health, in this time, is very important. We are separated from many of our loved ones and it can take a toll on us all. A lot of us receive love through touching and we do not get to do much of that right now and it hurts. In this season, I hope that you take time to not focus on what is hurting your heart, but what is giving life to it. Help someone that is physically close to you and struggling, speak to a stranger, give something you don’t use away to someone in need, take a walk and notice the beauty in front of you. We have to get creative when it comes to loving our people for now and be grateful that we are here to experience love from others.
I want to thank YOU for reading and supporting my blog! Definitely grateful for you and the time you spend getting to know more about me. There will be some changes coming soon and I pray that you are patient with me and those changes. Can’t wait to know what you think about them!
Wishing a wonderful and Peaceful Thanksgiving to you and yours…