For many of us, worry can be ever present. Yet, living with worry and living with gratitude are opposites.
If we can learn to live with gratitude, then we are choosing to reduce worry and stop making space for it in our lives.
In essence gratitude is simple. It is setting aside a few minutes each day, often first thing in the morning, to think about who and what we are grateful for in our lives.
This habit, along with morning affirmations, is a simple practice that will become easier over time and with practice.
So what does living with gratitude do?
It can remind you of what is important in life. That might be that your family orfriends are healthy and well; it might be that your own physical health is good.
It could be that you are grateful for the home you have, for the roof over your head and your favourite places within your home.
It could also be the outside world. That you can hear the birds sing, or feel the wind in your hair.
On a practical basis, you might have been worrying about a bad day at work –but you could also be grateful that you have work.
Living with gratitude also means finding joy in the smallest things in life.
Whether that is watching the birds in the garden, seeing children at play, or enjoying quiet time yourself with a latte and music you enjoy.
Living with gratitude is the ability to recognise those good things in your life.
If you live with gratitude the time and space for worrying and fretting is reduced, and you learn to understand and become aware that when things come to you they are what you need at that time.
These couldbe people, challenges or circumstances.
Whatever they are accepting that even in those things which seem negative we look at them with acceptance and with the recognition that there is some good, now or in the future, in just about everything that seems stressful or difficult.
How to live with gratitude.
The joy of living with gratitude is in its simplicity. And yet it can make a huge impact on our lives.
Starting each day with a short morning gratitude.
Take two or three minutes, to focus and be thankful for whoever and whatever you are grateful for.
This could be anything and it doesn’t matter how small or large.
Simply close your eyes, and spend the next two minutes to silently give thanks. Then you are ready to start the day.
If someone does something for you, say thank you.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a small act from a stranger or something more significant saying thank you helps them and you.
Of course you have to mean it, so be sure that you accept the favour or act and are grateful.
Give thanks for the problems that offer you opportunities to grow and to learn. For seeing the positives in everything every day.
Accepting and not judging but knowing and recognizing the good in all things.
Develop the habit of making thanks you calls, or sending a thank you email whenever there is something to thank someone for; in other words, don’t take good deeds for granted but acknowledge your thanks for them.
Find a gratitude prayer that speaks to you.
This doesn’t need to be religious and many are not.
And you can always write your own simple few words. Below is one that I use, and it helps me then focus on those things for which I am grateful.
“Each grateful thought I have helps to heal, and reminds me there will always more to be thankful for than I can imagine.”
Just remember that living with gratitude is about finding joy in everything, whether the company you keep, the natural world around you, the song of a bird, the chatter of children.
Joy is there and focussing on it drives the space for worry away,