Having gratitude means being thankful for what you have today. This can be anything:
- Having a roof over your head
- Having food to eat
- Wonderful people in your world
- Animals who unconditionally love you
All of these should be appreciated and cherished. I wish I could say I am the type of person who expresses my gratitude all the time to all those people and animals in my world who help me, support me, and make me laugh. Sadly, I am not. It’s not that I’m not grateful because truly I am; it’s just that I don’t articulate it often enough.
The truth is, I get caught up in day to day minutiae and more often than not that drives my thoughts and emotions. Family, finances, publishing a book consume my thoughts; dogs, writing a book, keeping up with this blog and running a household direct my actions. This leaves very little time for me to step back and look at the bigger picture. Or, so I think …
I mean really, who can’t find 5 minutes in their day to make a conscious effort to express their gratitude for all the abundance they have in this life?
I know I can, but I never think to do so; which, based on the findings of several studies, is not the smartest thing to do. Studies have shown that expressing gratitude on a regular basis can:
- Improve your sleep
- Lower anxiety and depression
- Increase alertness, determination, optimism, enthusiasm, and energy
That’s what it can do for you. But imagine what showing your gratitude to those you care for can do for them. Expressing gratitude shows generosity, concern, courtesy, and appreciation for family members and others. In other words, by letting people know you’re grateful for all they do, you make them happy. People appreciate being appreciated and I for one don’t tell them often enough. So, I’m going to change that.
My gratitude list
I told you I like to make lists. Well, here is my list of the people I am grateful for and why:
My husband Gary – I wouldn’t be on this journey if I didn’t have the support of my wonderful husband. It’s not just about the financial aspect; it’s about the love and encouragement that is there every moment of my day whether I’m down or up. It’s about the pride he has in me for walking the path I’m on. Mostly, it’s about having a partner who is willing to share this journey with me despite any stress it may put on him simply because he wants me to be happy. Seriously, how awesome is that?
My BFF Jill – Jill and I have been best friends since Kindergarten. She knows me like no other person in this world. Just knowing that she is always there for emotional support any time, any where unconditionally is freeing. It gives me a sense of security so I can go do something that may be scary and/or harebrained and know that if I screw up, she is there to pick up the pieces.
My circle of friends – Kris, Jill, Lisanne, Kathy, Mary, Sarah, Lynn, Rick, Julie, Adele etc … I am so blessed to have so many wonderful friends who are interested in what I do and encourage me while I pursue this dream. They would be there whether I pursue it or not, but it’s great to have so many people cheering me on.
My grammar cop – Rona, my BFF’s mom, who is like a second mom to me has been so gracious about slogging through my blog to correct any issues she may see.
My dogs, Bryce and Charlie who love me unconditionally and keep me company each day.
Wow, not hard and it only took me 15 minutes to write it down! To each and every one of you, thank you for your presence in my world! You make me strong and you give me courage to go after what I want. I am so grateful that the universe brought us together!
Just the act of writing that list down has lifted my spirits for the day. I think it’s important to stop from time to time, step away from those things that worry or stress you and appreciate all the good you have in your world. Being thankful and expressing your gratitude is not just about the benefits it will bring to you but also the happiness you can give to others.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward
Question: Who in your world are you grateful for and why? Share this post with them and let them know how much they mean to you.