“I am grateful for all of my problems. After each one was overcome, I became stronger and more able to meet those that were still to come. I grew in all my difficulties.” ~ J.C. Penney
Some nights when I put my six-year-old daughter to bed, I ask her to say her “Thank yous”–what good things happened today for which she is thankful. Yet, it dawned on me as we are getting closer to Thanksgiving, why am I not doing this myself every night?
Gratitude is feeling thankful appreciation for what we for people, events or things in their lives. Gratitude is also feeling thankful about ourselves. Just google the word and you will find so many studies indicating the importance of gratitude.
Gratitude makes us:
- feel more energy
- more optimistic
- more connected to our world
- more connected and appreciative of ourselves (despite pain or illness)
- it strengthens relationships
- and it makes us healthier
Looking at the list, I realize I need this! Especially considering chronic pain can make me feel disheartened sometimes. So I tried to start a gratitude journal every night before I went to sleep. But I am so exhausted by the time I go to bed that thinking of one more thing to do, even if for only two minutes, exhausted me even more or I just completely forgot. So I tried something new–A Gratitude App. There are tons out there, and with a reminder timer!
Making Thankfulness Fun through Togetherness
I downloaded the app, Grateful: A Gratitude Journal, and set 2 timers for breakfast and dinner with my daughter. She and I spent a week taking turns writing down answering prompts from the app or creating our own questions, taking pictures, and sharing. As the week progressed, I realized I wasfeeling happier, more energy, and our morning list stuck in my mind throughout the day, making me feel a really good, and I was focusing on pain less. (Above, my daughter is grateful she lost her tooth and didn’t end up swallowing it while sleeping.)
There are so many things to be grateful for it overwhelms me with a sense of exhiliaration: my one and only amazing child, my entire family, my neighbors who have become good friends, the sun rising this morning, the food I have to eat, the bed and covers that keep me comfortable and warm, the clothes that protect me. And the more I think of what I am thankful for, the longer my list of gratitude becomes, and then I think my life is better than I realize. I am fortunate.
How about you? What are you thankful for?
- What made us smile today?
- What about ourselves are we grateful?
- What are we looking forward to?
- What are we grateful for that we were able to give to others – how did we make someone happy?
- What did we do to make ourselves happy?
Let us be grateful for what we are able to give to others,
to ourselves, and for what we have and receive.