You may have heard this phrase before that the key to a happy life is to have an attitude of gratitude. (A phrase that although absolutely accurate also makes me instinctively wince from the cheese factor that comes with it). Looking around us in nature right now, it’s practically impossible to not see the bountiful harvest that she is providing us with, bringing us food that will sustain us throughout the next year. As always nature reflects my own life and recently with the big changes happening in my life it has become increasingly apparent to me how much I have to be grateful for. The more I am grateful the more positive I feel, and the more I have to grateful for, in fact you could call it a vicious circle if it wasn’t so great at making me feel so happy!
However it didn’t come easily to bring this attitude into my every day. I mean I had always been a grateful person but it was intermittent. With everyday life work, hobbies, making food, cleaning, seeing friends and general life it can be tough to actually take time out to say hey life is actually fantastic aren’t I lucky. You know what I mean if you are in an office every day, commuting the trough a busy public transport system or motorway, people including you are so taken up with deadlines, rushing and under pressure, that they don’t take time out to or feel they have the time to reflect and be thankful on a daily basis.
The thing I found is that it takes a lot less time and energy than you think to be grateful on a daily basis. So here are a three simple steps you can take to invite an attitude of gratitude (wince) into your everyday life.
Nature is always showing us its beauty. Nature is a mirror. It reflects the seasons of our own lives. As I said before at this time of year, in the Northern hemisphere the land around us is showing her bounty. The trees are beginning to fill with fruit, the earth is full of ripe wheat ready to harvest. There is so much to be thankful for when you take the time out to go outside and look around you. If you find it challenging to be thankful for your daily life then go outside, Take deep breaths of air, sit under a tree and see the sunlight dancing through the leaves. Watch the animals around you whether it is an ant, a bird or a dog. Nature will always give you something to smile and be grateful for.
Keep it simple
Being grateful does not always have to be about the big things. In fact often if you focus on being grateful for the big things e.g. a new promotion, a holiday in the sun; you can set your expectations too high and it has the opposite effect, kick starting a downward spiral. Not that you can’t be grateful for these things, it’s just good and easier to start simply.
When asked what are they grateful for children often answer with pure simple gratitude. They are grateful for their families, their toys, their food (often ice cream) and my personal favourite, the colour blue!
So when being grateful keep it simple. You can be grateful for your breath, for your morning cup of tea or the smile on your daughter’s face when she blows bubbles in her milkshake. The beauty of being grateful is there is (generally ) no way of being wrong. So start with the simple things and see how by enjoy these gifts consciously the sweeter life becomes.
Yes the old chestnut the gratitude list. Why do we keep hearing about this? Because it works. I make my gratitude list every morning when I wake. It’s the first thing I do after making my morning tea. And yes being grateful for my morning tea features often on that list! I keep myself within the boundary of naming three things I am grateful for. For each sentence I write I am grateful for………………… It makes my day start with a positive thankful heart and makes me more aware of things that I am so lucky to have or experience as my day continues.
The saying goes that the more you thank the universe, the more you have to be thankful for. And it’s true. So start to introduce an attitude of gratitude (wince) into your life and you will find that those grey clouds on the way to work don’t bother you when you are inwardly rejoicing, your heart singing as you still feel the warmth from the glorious cup of tea.
So what are you grateful for today?