Image via Unsplash
Nowadays ‘practicing gratitude’ has become a bit of a buzz word. And if you’re not really into it, it can sound a tad wanky and woo woo. (Also if you’re not into buzz words, maybe skip to the list…)
But as it’s entered the mainstream (thanks Oprah!), people are starting to realise that there are many benefits from regularly practicing gratitude. Scienticians** are even studying it and have found, among other things, that gratitude boosts your immune system and increases the level of positive emotions you experience.
Practicing gratitude also forces you to slow down and be more present, while drawing your attention to what’s great in your life – we can easily tell everyone what pisses us off in a day, but we’re not so good at ranting about the awesome bits. Not to mention this ol’ gem:
Basically, to practice gratitude you simply stop and acknowledge things for which you are thankful. Easy as that. Most people suggest that at the end of each day you record in a journal just three things from your day for which you’re grateful. Some people will simply say ‘Thanks universe’ when good stuff happens. Easy-peasy.
You don’t have to wait for something ‘big’ or important, either. Even if it’s little or silly things – if you stop to think ‘I’m glad that just happened,’ you’re on the right track.
So, without further ado, here’s a random list of gratefuls I came up with when I couldn’t sleep the other night.
Chris. Always and forever. He is clever, generous, and so so funny. He makes me laugh every day. After living together for more than five years I STILL look forward to coming home every day and talking crap with him.
Mild insomnia. The other day I had time and space to write, and nothing came out. I was feeling a bit crap because I’d pondered for hours and come up with zip, but when I couldn’t sleep that night this post started turning over in my mind. I often get ideas while I’m lying in bed so, while it’s really frustrating not being able to sleep, it’s not always so bad.
Friends. I spent the weekend with some wonderful, fun, funny people. I often remind myself how lucky I am to have these people in my life, and that while I haven’t known some of them for long, I can count them as good friends.
The internet. No seriously. There is a wealth of information at our fingertips now, and so many opportunities to learn something for free. There are so many generous people out there who offer up their wisdom, their funnies, and their opinions for nothing, just because they want to. And you can always find help if you’re stuck on something.
My sister. Not unlike the internet: always available, easily accessible, and a wealth of information. I’m pretty sure we’re keeping our phone providers in business with the amount we call and text each other. And, like the rest of my family, she’s so supportive of this and any other endeavours I try – she’s a wonderful cheerleader.
This space. I didn’t realise how much I wanted it but now that it’s built, I really love hanging out here. I have so many plans, and working on this and all sorts of related (invisible for now) things gives me a real sense of purpose.
Ducks! Yes really 🙂 There’s a family of ducks in the park I walk through to work and they’re little dudes. I love to see them cruising around like they own the joint. And did you see this guy on my Instagram? Too funny.
Babies! (Well, photos of other peoples’ anyway). There are lots of babies in my orbit at the moment which means I get to see lots of photos that are so adorable I think my face will explode. Plus in a photo of a peacefully-sleeping baby you can’t tell they wailed for 17 hours before nodding off, and you can’t hear/smell what just came out of them. Win!
More sunshine. Over winter my doctor told me I had very low Vitamin D and put me on supplements. While the weather in Melbourne-town has been all over the shop lately, we have been fortunate that the sunny weather has been falling on weekends – glorious! It’s funny how in winter you plod along and don’t really realise how much you miss the sunshine, but when spring rolls around you can feel yourself uncurling in the warmth. There’s nothing like the warmth of sun on your skin, and I’m so glad it’s back!
** It’s totally a word. Just don’t Google it 😉