By Jenifer Tull-Gauger
I was “in a funk.” The year had been hard on me. Way too busy. Most of the busyness was good—we had non-stop visits from family and friends, and enriching events to attend. But our finances were severely strained and I saw no solution. My own schedule was pulled in so many directions, I felt I had no time to breathe. I noticed my patience, calm and spirit leaving as any little negativity from anyone brought me unnecessary aggravation.
I started to notice similar messages coming to me from many different sources—the book I was reading, a caring friend, an article, Ted Talks on YouTube. The messages were about expressing gratitude. The simple methods for doing this daily inspired me. I started to put some of the suggestions into action.
At first, the time, money and other stressors were still there, but I noticed a change in myself. My days were easier and more joyful, even with all the activities. I was able to laugh with my family and we had more fun together. Instead of being annoyed that I didn’t have time to stop and enjoy the sunset, I glanced at the sky, took a breath, and continued my activity, being grateful to do so under beautiful orange clouds.
Here are the simple ways I found to express gratitude:
-Upon waking, let one of your first thoughts be about thanks for the new day.
-Start each work day by sending an e-mail to someone saying thanks or telling what you appreciate about them.
-Write a short note to a family member with a message of praise and love. Deliver it.
-Cut out a small heart paper, write what you appreciate about your significant other, and place it where he/she will find it.
-Smile at someone.
(Note: Do the above four in faith that they will be received in the positive spirit in which they were given, but do not expect anything in return, not even an acknowledgement.)
-Throughout your day, notice your blessings (a green light, fluffy clouds, a kind word, a satisfying meal), take a breath, and be grateful.
I hope you will consider trying some or all of these simple ways to express gratitude. They helped me change my attitude and find more joy.