There are many benefits to practicing gratitude on a daily basis. You shift your focus to positive things, you become mindful (and bring about) more of the good stuff happening in your life, you reduce stress and anxiety, etc. It’s easy when things are going well to be grateful. But what about when things go wrong? Is that when we throw gratitude out the window and complain about everything?
Being grateful when things are not all sunshine and puppy dogs is challenging, but that’s when it’s most needed. In moments of crisis focusing on the negative will only bring about more negativity—and who needs that?
So I will share a simple exercise in being grateful that I use when it would be easier to complain. The backstory: I have chronic back pain and last summer it got worse. I have been in and out of physical therapy and it’s likely my doctor will be recommending more drastic measures, such as epidurals, soon. Today my back hurts and there’s pain going down the side of my leg. It frustrates me to no end because it makes it hard to work. And I like my work. But rather than focusing on the pain, I choose to focus on what I can be grateful right here and right now.
Here’s a list of seven things I’m grateful for in no particular order:
I work from home so I can pause and stretch my back often during the day
It’s a beautiful day today—blue skies, a light breeze and a perfect 70 degrees
I had grilled cheese for lunch
My dog is nearby and I can go snuggle him whenever I want (although sometimes he huffs like I’m torturing him) 🙂
My office is looking almost as Pinterest-worthy as I would like
I have time to write a blog post in the middle of the day
A client mentioned additional work I can do for her
I could go on, but will leave it to you for now. What can you be grateful for right now?