Gratitude: Easier said than done.
Don’t you wake up in the morning filled to the brim with a deep and genuine appreciation for life?
If not, read on with the rest of us.
Obviously, when we are rooted in gratitude, we feel quite different as compared to those moments when we are unsatisfied, whiny, and angry about how unfair it all is.
When we truly feel grateful, we feel…happier, peaceful, calm, and loving. In the long run, we create greater resiliency.
But I have so much to do besides practicing gratitude! Can’t I just aim to be grateful and that’ll do it? Kinda like saying I meditate because I did once a year ago?
As it turns out, lip service isn’t really good for anything, including this. Those who get all those lovely gratitude perks are actually putting in the time to practice gratitude as a mindset, and it pays off.
Interesting: We are awake and going about life for roughly 1,000 minutes each day. So, a 10-minute gratitude challenge equates to just 1% of your day.
Would you dedicate 1% to something if it consistently brought more happiness, peace and love into your life?
Let’s be honest. My fellow single folks probably dedicate 5x that much time to swiping right and left when you’re home alone with no plans on a Friday night.
(The Singles Challenge: 10 minutes of swiping vs 10 minutes of gratitude – which leaves you feeling more lonely, anxious and woefully inadequate?)
The 1% Gratitude Practice
- Dust off the journal.
- Pick ONE experience you are grateful for and write about it in detail for 10 minutes.
The Challenge: Pick something that’s hard to be grateful for.
Why is that so important?
Life is not all loving spouses, cuddly pets, and brilliant sunsets.
It’s easy – and not very helpful – to be grateful for the warm and fuzzy.
Dear Grateful Journal,
I’m grateful for my amazing kids.
I’m grateful for summer days at the beach.
I’m grateful for my awesome life.
When we explore the less obvious beauty, growth and meaning in the realities of being alive, that’s when we cash in on those gratitude perks. We discover more happiness, peace and compassion within all of the many minutes of the day that are not beach sunsets.
We train the mind to look for opportunities inherent in our challenges, the light side of the struggles, and the simple pleasures in the mundane.
We learn the practice of non-judgment: that our experiences are not good or bad, they just are. There is always a yin-yang contrast.
We must experience illness to appreciate health, betrayal to appreciate loyalty, darkness to appreciate light.
Every experience is a teacher, if we seek out the opportunity to reflect, learn and become more compassionate.
How we do anything is how we do everything.
If you just go through the motions, you’ll get an equivalent outcome.
So, just for today, why not dedicate 1% to really, truly practicing gratitude?