Is it the glorious weather outside you window today? Or the company you keep? Do you earn a shit-tonne of money doing what you love? Or maybe it’s something smaller, like the fact that you have an unopened carton of Ben and Jerry’s cookies and cream ice cream waiting for you when you get home.
Whatever it is, being grateful for what you have is an important part of staying positive and staying healthy. Especially when you’re down in the dumps. In fact, positive psychology researchers have found that thinking a grateful thought can immediately increase happiness levels and decrease depressive symptoms.
Gratitude takes many forms, and it’s good to figure out a way to practice it that makes you feel comfortable and that allows you to reap the benefits. Some people just think a grateful thought. Others send a thoughtful text or make an unplanned phone call to a loved one to let them know they’re thinking of them, for no reason in particular. And others still have a more involved gratitude practice, devoting their time freely to support worthy causes.
I called a friend in a moment of frustration last week and began to rant about the general injustices of life. In his infinite wisdom, he suggested that I write a gratitude list as a way to break the negative thinking water slide I’d glumly found myself yippeeeing down.
Obviously, it didn’t solve all my problems right away (I’d be bottling that shit and selling it for a ridiculous sum of cash if it did). But it certainly gave me perspective that I may not have found in my spiral of negative thinking. It ain’t all bad, I grudgingly acknowledged.
So while there may be bad things happening in your life or somewhere around the world right now, it’s important to remember that being grateful serves you. And with the weather looking F-I-N-E fine today, why not take a moment to practice gratitude for what you do have right now rather than focusing on what you don’t have?