Let’s talk about Gratefulness.
Gratefulness is all about appreciating the good things in our lives. Starting our day by thinking about all the things we have to be grateful for is a great way to set the tone. Practicing gratefulness makes us focus on all the good and pleasant things in our lives and that, in turn, improves our overall happiness, while also attracting more light into our lives.
There's a principle I teach in my behavior management courses, what you feed will grow. That means what you put your attention on, speak words about or even just repeatedly think about will become more prominent in your eyes and your life. If you're spending all your time thinking about how busy you'll be today, guess what? You'll never stop feeling like you're running behind. Thinking you have time to get things done won't create more time in your day, but it will give you back the time you would've wasted being frustrated by your schedule.
As you are waking up, or while you’re sitting at your kitchen table sipping your first cup of coffee, think about all the things and people you are thankful and grateful for. Focus your mind on anything positive that has happened the day before, or that you anticipate happening today. You can be grateful for the smallest of things. I wake up grateful that I have a warm and comfortable bed to sleep in and of course I’m always grateful for my freshly brewed coffee, with my new favorite Butter Pecan creamer. Think about the people in your life that you are grateful for including your parents, grandparents, spouse or significant other, children, friends, colleagues, a boss that gives you a job. Try to find something good about all important people in your life.
If you're a teacher, you will likely have days when your students make you question your profession and as a mom I know there are days I think I just want to give up my title, but look at the little people in your life. How awesome is it that you have a chance to influence generations to come? Don't just think about this gratitude, tell them. That's right, pull at least one kid to the side and let them know you're grateful for them. You'll be amazed how good you both feel.
Make this grateful exercise part of your morning ritual. Focusing on it, and practicing it at roughly the same time each morning and, if possible, in a similar setting, will help you form a habit. And that’s the goal for the long run. You want to be able to practice being grateful effortlessly and without having to think about it. Getting to that point alone will have a huge impact on how happy and content you feel from here on out. You can even try journaling your gratitude daily. I've found as I look back through my journals I get a huge boost of energy from seeing how things have progressed.
Give it a try for a few weeks and take note of how your mental outlook changes by simply adding this little exercise of gratitude in the mornings. Before long, you will do it automatically and won’t want to miss this opportunity to acknowledge all the good things in your life.