7 Ways to Be Grateful Today
Gratitude is one of those life practices that takes just that, practice. But it's not always easy or even top of mind. Life gets in the way, whether that is external or internal forces stopping you from seeing the bigger picture. How many times has something gone wrong and your gut reaction is to say "Well, shit. This sucks." or that voice inside your head speaks out with something like "This is literally never going to get better"? A little gratitude goes a long way to reframe the way you go through life, helping you live happier, more satisfied, and appreciative.
Be grateful for your health.
If you woke up today feeling like a 7 on a scale of 10, you're doing pretty good. No - PMS cramps, middle-age joint pain, and hangovers don't count against your overall health score. But if you are going through life seeing your general practitioner and gyno only when you need to (regular check ups included), then you are doing better than the majority of the population. And to those that are going through health challenges big and small, it probably feels like there ain't a whole lot to be grateful for. But doctors, nurses, supportive friends and family, and your stubborn drive to carryon are all things to be grateful for. Especially your stubborn drive.
Be grateful for your wealth.
Are you reading this on a smart phone? Are you connected to wifi? Do you travel via your own transportation or city-provided transportation? Can you pay your bills (mostly) on time? Do you have access to a checking account? Did you eat today? Have you seen a movie in theaters sometime in the last six months?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then be grateful for your wealth. Though it may seem like you don't have much, a simple look outside of yourself might reveal that there are plenty of others that are surviving off a great deal less. And while comparisons aren't ideal in most circumstances, this is one of those circumstances where it applies. There are individuals and families across America, hell in your own neighborhood that can't afford near as much as you currently have at your fingertips. So be grateful that you can afford a cup of coffee on the occasion, to make your car payment on time, and can donate to those more in need every once in a while.
Be grateful for your friends.
If the universe got one thing right in this world, it was the magic of a good female relationship. We all have our guy friends, sure. But there's something about a lady-to-lady love-fest that can't be beat. And whether you have one bestie or a future lineup for twelve glowing bridesmaids already in a group chat, be grateful for their influence in your life. Sometimes just knowing you've got a gal pal to reach out to at the end of a hard day, even if you don't make the effort to do so, can be the difference between going off the rales and keeping your job.
Be grateful for your family.
This one might be the toughest. Some family members can literally be the scourge of the earth. And I'm not going to tell you to keep those kinds of people around just because they're blood. But I am going to tell you to be grateful for the family members that provide you (and you provide them) with encouragement, constructive criticism, guidance, support, and love. You might have more family members that have volunteered themselves into your life than you do actual blood relatives. And that's all the more to be grateful for. Those voluntary family members may even count the most.
Be grateful for your own ambition.
Without ambition, what are you? A hot air balloon of best intentions and well wishes? You're more than that. You are an audacious, awe-inspiring person of power. And you're ambition is going to get you wherever you are going. And being grateful for yourself is key in understanding just what you are capable of.
Be grateful for your own capabilities.
Speaking of capabilities, look at everything you have accomplished thus far. You've kept yourself alive all these years, and that's something! You're capable of a lot more than you give yourself credit for, frankly. And it's frustrating to hear women admonish themselves for not doing more with their lives when they are already doing a shit ton. You manage your own life (maybe the lives of your family too #singleparenthood), a professional career, a desire to grow as an individual, probably some financial debt or an investment portfolio - none of this is old hat. Active participation in your own life requires nuance and intelligence. And if that doesn't showcase what you're capable of, then maybe you should scale back your expectations to something more realistic.
Be grateful for your circumstances.
All fluffy rhetoric aside, just be happy with where you are. The grass is always greener where you water it. If you're reading this blog post, then you are probably of the mindset that something greater is available to you and that kind of mental fortitude is something to be grateful for. Whether it's on the horizon or part of your ten year plan, your current circumstances will eventually get you to where you are going.
And that's a lot to be grateful for.