What is the first thing you think about when you wake up each morning? Is it how you don’t want to get out of bed and go to work?  For me while languishing in my bed, I take time to be thankful for all that is good in my life and I look forward to my day.

I’ve recently noticed some of my friends writing three things they are grateful for on their facebook page. This is in fact a very powerful exercise to do because it forces us to focus and concentrate on the positives in our lives and anything negative becomes insignificant. It really is surprising when we stop to think of all the things we can be grateful for, simple everyday things that we take for granted, such as running water, food, our family and friends.

A few years ago I decided to keep a gratitude diary, I was encouraged to do this when I read somewhere that Oprah Winfrey kept a gratitude diary and she said how much it can enhance one’s happiness. It focuses our attention on all the good.  If keeping a diary isn’t for you, there are many gratitude apps available for phones that will send you an alert each day to enter your 3 or 5 things you are grateful for.

“Thank you” are two very beautiful words. We use these words quite a lot during our day, thank you to the barista in the coffee shop, to the shopkeeper serving us our lunch or weekly shop but how often do we really mean it in our hurried lives. I started to ponder on this and wondered if we just say “thank you” because we have been brought up to say “please” and “thank you” and it is regarded as polite and is good manners.

Whenever I say the words “thank you” I make eye contact with the person I am thanking and smile directly at them to show I really do mean the words I am speaking. Previously before I made the effort to do this, I would be distracted either putting change back into my purse or already making my way out of the shop, not even making eye contact as I said thank you. By making this extra effort to say thank you and really meaning it, the response received is amazing, I am wished a good day as the shopkeeper or person I’m thanking in turn makes eye contact with me. I leave the shop very happy and hopefully they are happy and feel they are doing a good job.

Research shows that if we make a concerted effort to be grateful and to show gratitude and appreciation we not only increase our happiness but also improve our well-being. It also leads to increased levels of energy, optimism and empathy.   Not to mention life somehow seems so much happier and even I would go one step further to say that it even improves.

I would love to hear your five things that you are grateful for today, mine are:-

  1. My health
  2. My friends and family
  3. I have a roof over my head
  4. My wonderful animals
  5. Fresh food to eat

And whenever you can’t think of something to be grateful for, remember your breath.With each breath you take, you can say, ‘I am still here.’ Make each day a holiday of thankfulness—and give yourself the gift of gratitude.” — Oprah Winfrey

Wishing my lovely readers a love filled happy week filled with gratitude.