Have you ever been told how “grateful” you should be when you were feeling quite the opposite? Many of us hear the word gratitude and feel resistant, especially if we are in the midst of a challenge. Try substituting the word “appreciation” for gratitude. This hones in on the real meaning without taking on the guilt invoked by the “shoulds.”
Appreciation is a genuine acknowledgment of any moment that contains an awareness that raised the spirit. It could be triggered by a quiet interlude, a home-made cookie, a friendly dog, a sunset, a child’s laughter, your house, your family; or by reflection on those moments.
A surprisingly simple and powerful method to lift your level of happiness can take as little as five minutes a day. In the evening, write down five things you appreciated about your day. If you can’t come up with five things, write down two. It can be as big or as small as your wish: a mosquito bite stopped itching, that first cup of coffee, the tree in full autumn colors, your favorite song on the radio while driving to work. You remember these moments for a reason; they impacted you. Try to re-experience each one as you write it down.
Commit to doing this for 3 weeks. You are forming a lasting habit of looking for the bright moments throughout your day. The more you look, the more you will find…and the happier you will be.