Thankfulness versus gratitude. What does that mean? Well, they may have the same meaning at the end of the day, but lately gratitude has become something that holds a little more meaning. I am not sure if it has been the rollercoaster we have all been on for the last two years or not, but I have certainly noticed a theme on social media centered around that word and it has me thinking that some people may be onto something.
Gratitude has become more than just being thankful for something. It is as if it has become a lifestyle rather than a simple feeling. Sharing the things you feel gratitude towards on a daily basis has become a bit of a norm. It’s like intentionally starting the day on the right foot. Seeing the things that people are sharing can really make you think about the things in your own life that you are grateful for. It can be the simple things, such as being able to hear the crunch of the leaves when walking on a on a crisp Fall morning. The type of things that you wouldn’t look at and normally say, “I am so glad this is a thing!” Or it can be something big like being grateful to have a roof over your head.
I think that this can be especially healthy when we find ourselves getting upset. Imagine you are in a drive-thru line and it is moving rather slow. You expected to be through the line in under 5 minutes, but it has been 10 and you are not even to the first window to pay for your food. Something to feel grateful for in that moment could be having the opportunity to listen to the song on the radio or finish it while you wait. This kind of mindset can help you stay grounded and take your mind off the thing that is upsetting.
I want to challenge you to look around the room you are in and find at least two things you are grateful for and then continue to do so on a regular basis. The world can be such a negative place these days, so I think it is important to take a step back and find something positive to focus on for a moment, if not for our own sanity. Looking around my home office I am grateful for my laptop that gives me the opportunity to work remotely and for my sticky notes that keep me on track each day. It can be so easy to find something to be grateful for if we just take the time to do so.
In the coming year, make a habit of finding one or two things to be grateful for and repeat this process every day. Do something that holds you accountable, like writing it in a journal or in a note on your phone. You don’t have to share it on social media like others do, but be intentional and start the day on a positive note. A little positivity and gratitude can go a long way and isn’t that what we all need after the last two years?