Gratitude Is a Form of Self-Care

gabrielle-cole-701889-unsplashPhoto by gabrielle cole on Unsplash

A couple of weeks ago one of my colleagues asked if she could make me a gratitude journal. “A gratitude journal?”, I thought. I wasn’t 100% sure what it was but if it’s what it sounds like it is, then of course. Everyone could be a little more intentional about gratitude, right? How thoughtful of her.

Wait a minute…why does she want to give ME a gratitude journal? Is she giving everyone a gratitude journal? My gratitude for her thoughtfulness quickly turned to suspicion.  It made me ponder the question, “Am I lacking in gratitude in a way that is visible to others?” Whatever her motivation, I decided to welcome the opportunity to document my gratitude.

I have been gratitude journaling ever since and I can honestly say that my mindset and mood have improved. Whenever something happens that is annoying, inconvenient, or even unfair, I tell myself, “Things could always be worse. Be grateful for X,Y,Z”.

I recently received a speeding ticket. I decided to “fight the ticket” on the grounds that the officer was not 100% truthful in a couple of things he wrote on the ticket. However, the decision to fight it has been more of a nightmare than had I chosen to pay it. From receiving misinformation to having to rearrange my life to deal with court dates and navigating a system in which I am not very familiar, it has been a headache. However, I remind myself in the midst of it all, that it could be worse. In the grand scheme of things, a speeding ticket is minor.

Someone lost their parent today and I can call both of mine. Someone doesn’t know how they will feed their children today and I have plenty. Someone is lonely and I have companionship. Someone else is jobless and I am gainfully employed. It can be a soul suck sometimes, but I am grateful for it. Perspective is everything.

We all have lots of reasons to be discouraged, disappointed, and downtrodden. However, life doesn’t have to be perfect for us to be thankful for who we are, where we are, and what we have.

I challenge you to add more gratitude to your life. Spending time reflecting and writing down those things for which you are grateful is a form of self-care.

What are you grateful for today?

 

 

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