Did you know that reciting three things you are grateful for each day has the ability to literally help rewire your brain to look for more positives? I know if you are in a dark place you may be thinking, what do I have to be grateful for? Yet when you really begin to look at things you can be grateful for you will start to see there is an abundance of things to be grateful for in your life you just forget to notice them.
For example, this week I had a student bring me in two little wrapped gifts first thing on Monday morning. It was pretty adorable because it is not too often that a grade five student brings in a gift just out of the blue. She had made me two little bracelets over the weekend because her and another classmate had a double sleepover and spent a bunch of time making jewelry. The bracelets were adorable so I found a place to hang them near my desk in the classroom. Having a student think of me enough to make a little gift over the weekend is something I can easily find gratitude for because it means in that students life I am making a positive impact on some level.
This past week where I live it was also extremely cold so it was easy to find gratitude in the fact that I have a warm home, warm tea to drink and a warm car to drive instead of having to walk. There are so many people in the world who on cold days do not have that luxury. I definitely spent some time thinking about how lucky I was that I was not outside freezing in the polar weather we were having. Yet so often when we get really cold weather like that people just focus on how unbearable the cold is. Trust me it is pretty unbearable but at the same time it makes the warmer winter days just that much better because we appreciate them that much more. Sometimes the things that we are struggling with are actually the things we can find the most gratitude in.
If you are single and wish you had a partner you can be grateful for yourself because you are strong enough to be on your own and not settle for an unhealthy relationship. If you are in a relationship you can be grateful for something fun that you did together or a joke that you both laughed at or even the simple pleasure of cuddling up on the couch together and how much that makes you feel loved.
There literally is infinite things you can be grateful for even on the worst days. I know days that are hard it is really difficult to shift your mindset to look for something you are grateful for, yet if you are able to take time to notice how it makes your mood shift. Do you feel lighter? Do you smile even just for a second? Focusing on gratitude can bring a moment of joy even to the hardest day.
Have you ever made a point to write down what you are grateful for each day? If not I challenge you to start now. I know for myself there has been many times throughout my life that I have been very consistent with writing my gratitude each night. Then I tend to fall off the consistency band wagon for a while and I am back to mindlessly rushing through my days, weeks and months, until something really knocks me again and I realize that in order to take care of me I need to focus on gratitude and then I start up again. My goal right now is to write three things I am grateful for each day for 90 days. I currently am on day 15 and have not missed one yet. Sometimes I write the morning and evening one together but I have consistently not missed a day yet which is something to be grateful for in and of itself.
So this week spend some time being mindful and think of three things you are grateful for at some point throughout the day. Challenge yourself to see if you can do it every day for a week. Notice if it made you feel better, made the day flow easier or made it easier to fall asleep at night because you ended the day thinking about something positive. If it is helping you then keep going! Maybe you can do the 90 day challenge to.