Do you want less stress? Do you want better/easier ways to manage stress? Do you want to be happier? Of course you do! The big question, though, is HOW? If you knew, you’d be doing it, right?
Well, I’ve got the answer… Gratitude. This probably isn’t news to you, I’ve written about it lots of times and so have many others. We tell you how great it is and how to record your gratitude or how maintain a gratitude practice but we never tell you how to recognize or feel gratitude in this world of constant complaining. Today, I’m going to remedy that!
Finding things to be grateful for and then actually feeling gratitude for them is often easier said than done. At the very least, it can be hard to find things to be grateful for on more than a rational or superficial level. We’re all grateful in a coldly rational way to have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and the technology that’s allowing us to communicate with others all over the world, but are we REALLY grateful? Do we feel deep gratitude for these things or are we just glad that we have them? There’s a big difference: one is a heartfelt emotion and the other is a rational thought. It can be difficult to feel real gratitude for something to which you feel entitled and for something that you don’t believe you’ll ever be without.
Recently, while reading one of my favorite blogs by Molly Larkin, I ran across a series of questions that are the perfect starting point for developing a gratitude practice. They are part of a Native American tradition among grandmothers and their grandchildren that is designed to nurture children’s wonder and sense of magic. (Read Molly’s post here)
So if you want to develop some genuine gratitude, with a side of wonder and magic, ask yourself these 7 questions every day:
What did you see/experience today that…
I don’t know about you, but I have no problem feeling genuine gratitude for anything that meets one or more of these 7 criteria!
Happy New Year. May you all have much to be grateful for in 2014!