Last night I watched Five Feet Apart. A movie about two young lovers who both have cystic fibrosis. They could never be less than five feet apart from each other as they would be at risk of transmitting a harmful bacteria to each other. Through all the difficulties they faced because of this disease, they still managed to live their days to the fullest and enjoy the opportunities that were available. Cystic fibrosis had stolen so much from them, but they stole back. From this movie I reflected on the importance of gratefulness. This inspired the theme of my blog post today.
I believe practicing gratefulness is one small and easy step you can take towards developing and maintaining a sense of satisfaction and happiness in life. By taking at least one moment each day to recognise what we are already blessed with, we begin to understand how lucky we are to even experience life.
Being grateful for what you already have does not mean the problems you face are all of a sudden non-existent or irrelevant. The purpose of gratefulness, in my opinion, is to establish a feeling of hope. When life gets hard and you feel like there’s no hope for the future, it could be beneficial to do a stock take on what you already have. By being grateful for what we already have, we can develop a sense of comfort in the present moment which can then give us hope to move forward.
I am able to practice gratefulness each day by taking the time to write down three things I am grateful for in that moment. I usually incorporate this exercise into my journaling, but it can be done as an individual activity. Completing this activity in the morning may be the best time to do this as it sets you up for the day ahead, urging you to be more grateful for everything that happens for the remainder of the day.
Here is a personal example of how this exercise might look like:
- It was a beautiful, calm day for my run today
- I made a really tasty Thai chicken stir-fry with my girlfriend
- I have the resources and opportunity to write my own blog and share my writing with the world
This is just an example of a few things I feel grateful for today. Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting more or we may put so much focus and energy into worrying about what the future has in store for us. I find this exercise grounds me and brings me back to the present day. It never fails to make me feel better.
Note everyone’s gratefulness list will look the same as some people are simply more well-off than others, but each person goes through their own problems which are of great significant to themselves. Think really simple. Maybe you had a glass of fresh water today? Maybe the sky was really pretty on the drive to work this morning? I encourage you to practice this exercise and try to appreciate the small things in life as it can be so easy to forget what we already have.
“Smell the roses while you can” – David Wojnarowicz