Practicing Gratitude

I’m feeling funky lately. Everything seems to be getting under my skin. I rarely want to wish away precious time, but lately, I keep wishing this year would just fast-forward and go away.

My fitness accountability group so often helps me keep my head above water. This is usually a daily opportunity to check-in online to seek or offer support in regards to exercise and nutrition goals. But self-care is also a frequent topic and lately, it’s often simply about helping each other be okay. A lot of us are struggling right now.

IMG_0005[3424]

This week brought a reminder that no matter your size or how well you eat, no matter how many pushups you can do or how much weight you can lift, if stress weighs you down, you just aren’t healthy.

I looked through the list of tips for living more happily and immediately recognized that I’ve been allowing myself to get sucked into the fear, the anger, and the frustration of the world today. Even typical daily hurdles sometimes feel monumental. I picked out a few things to work on, with my main focus being to express more gratitude. I’ve not been very grateful lately, even while I recognize that my life is relatively easy and peaceful.

IMG_0002[3420]A few weeks ago while doing some shopping, a small notebook caught my eye. I remember thinking it could be a gratitude journal but (typical me) I’d tossed it aside and hadn’t done anything with it. But now I’d found some motivation and have since started writing in it. And I’m reminded that gratitude takes practice. I’ve allowed my mind to sink, to wallow just a bit too much, to hang onto darkness and a sense of helplessness. Finding reasons to be grateful has taken some real effort. But I’ve been making myself write some things down almost daily. I try to find at least three things a day to write down, even if what I’ve written feels stupid or mundane. Sometimes I only manage one thought. Sometimes I don’t write anything. But I do it if at all possible. 

One of my fitness friends shared that she often has to find reasons to be grateful in the most unlikely of circumstances. She tripped over a bunch of shoes in her house one day. Instead of being annoyed that no one could put their shoes where they belong, she told herself that she was lucky to have a houseful of big-footed teenagers who just so happen to have great taste in athletic shoes. Following my friend’s lead, I’ve been grateful to wake up to the sounds of birds singing outside my open bedroom window. I was thankful for a busy workday, particularly after a recent lull made me worry about job security. I professed how much I love my dog, Lucy, and how I appreciate her constant companionship while I’m stuck have the privilege of working from home. I appreciated a text from a friend that simply said she was thinking of me and wanted to say hi.

I would really like to deepen my sense of gratitude. After all, it’s kind of hard to be sad and mopey when you’ve got pages of things for which to be grateful. I’ll keep working at this.

3 thoughts on “Practicing Gratitude

  1. I think all of us, no matter how much we have tried in the past, are finding we have to work much, much harder and being grateful. But truly, it doesn’t take much looking around today to understand just how lucky we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey T,
    I think I’m in this same funk. The world issues were keeping me up at night and I was miserable. I’ve kinda done the same thing. Focusing on the good and keeping my mind active on constructive things. Not ignoring the world issues, it IS important, but keeping myself briefed is enough.
    As for gratitude, yes, what a great idea. I’ll start right here thanking you for this wake up call!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Even those of us who are by nature sunny in personality are finding it hard to be hopeful and happy these days, my friend. I’ve learned it’s easier to turn off the dreary news, go outside in nature, read a good book, or almost anything that doesn’t keep me training over the fears and worries. Gratitude is a great start!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s