A thankful life is one of the most important keys to a peaceful life. I encourage all my readers and clients to get a gratitude journal and to write three things for which they are thankful every morning when they wake up. The rule is that you can write anything you want, but you cannot write the same thing twice on the same page. This proves challenging for some at times.
If you think that it’s hard to look around us and find something to be grateful for in every day, consider that there are so many little blessings that make our life worthwhile we may not even notice. Looking for them daily will help us develop a grateful heart and increase the joy of our blessings tremendously.
Need something to be grateful for today? Consider these as a starting point:
- Life itself.
The blessing of being alive, of breathing and thinking. There are many that don’t have that blessing. Never take life for granted!
For those of us who experience good health most of the time, we don’t usually consider our health unless we lose it. For those of us that struggle with health challenges, we may not fully appreciate the health we have in the rest of our bodies or the improvements we make along the way to recovery. Good health is truly a blessing to give thanks for.
Our children, grandchildren, parents, siblings and spouse. Even extended family make life worthwhile and worth living. If we don’t have blood relatives, there are many people who are like family to us, even if they come from a different genealogy. I personally don’t have grandchildren from my own children, but I have five lovely and perfect “adopted grandchildren” from two of my favorite moms. I am grateful that they share their children with me.
- Your five senses—hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell.
If you have all your five senses you are truly blessed? Even losing one of them is a heartache. Combined, they fill our lives with life! With modern technology, we can be grateful that even without all senses not working at 100% there are options available to help.
- Your job or career.
While we sometimes fuss and wish we didn’t have to work, the blessing of a job to provide for our needs and the needs or our family is definitely something to be grateful for in these uncertain economic times. If you are an entrepreneur, you have the added blessing of being able to be your own boss, set your own hours, and live your life according to your own terms. Working for a living is a blessing in itself – always remember that when it’s time to meet your financial obligations or when you take that little vacation.
Think of the joy of walking outside and letting the sun kiss your face – can you feel it? It’s one of the best feelings ever! I am in southeast Michigan, and at this time of the year, the sun is rare. However, this year we have had more sun than I recall in past years. It makes the cold days so much easier to bear. Spring is definitely on the way!
Rain rain ???? go away, come on back some other day ???? – do you remember singing that as a child (or even as an adult)? Rain is not our favorite thing to see when we have plans to be outdoors, but it is truly a blessing when you consider we could not enjoy the lushness of the outdoors without.
We are blessed with so many food choices. There is an abundance of food available. It is sad that many in the world don’t have enough to eat, but we can help as we are able to put an end to the hunger. What a blessing it is to have good healthy food to eat, never take it for granted. Consider also, what a blessing it is to be able to help those who are in need. Share your gratitude by sharing your abundance.
- Loving relationships.
When I was in my early twenties, I played in a pit orchestra for the musical “Carousel.” The theme song (which we played thousands or times) says, “love makes the world go ’round.” How true it is! Be thankful for all the love in your life. Don’t narrow it down to just romantic love, but include all the love you get to experience and share.
Friends are a wonderful gift. They are here for us when we need them, and we are there for them as well. They can make us laugh, smile, cry, or scream. We love them and are thankful for the relationships we have together.
Even though they have been a little hard to come by during the pandemic, hugs are truly a gift to humankind for which we should give thanks. A loving touch can remove sadness, uplift a spirit and heal a heartache. The best thing about a good hug is it goes both ways.
The freedom to live and breathe and think your own thoughts is one of the greatest joys in the world. Never take it for granted, and never give it up by being apathetic to what is happening around you. Give thanks for those that make our freedom possible.
- A home.
It doesn’t have to be large or even impressive, but a home filled with love and laughter is a comfort for the soul. Your home may be in the city, the suburbs, the country, or even on the water somewhere. It may be traditional or something totally out of the norm. No matter what you call home, give thanks for yours!
- Your education.
Many people underestimate the value of education but those who’ve acquired it know what a blessing it is. Education doesn’t mean you have to go to college and have an advance degree. Education is what you need to acquire the skills to have a successful life. Be thankful for what you have learned so far in life. Never stop learning.
After a difficult day, a simple kindness – as simple as a smile – can make you feel so much better. We live in a world filled with a lot of unkindness, so when you have the chance to experience the kindness of others, appreciate it. When you have the chance to extend kindness to others, go for it!
- The future.
Hope for the future is what gives us strength for the day. Be thankful for what the future holds for you. Focus on the positive, and your future will be filled with positive things.
While we certainly don’t want to dwell in the past, an occasional visit down Memory Lane can be a good thing. Take a stroll through your photos, share memories at the dinner table with friends, journal about things that bring you good thoughts. Appreciate the memories and then come back to the present and make for memories for the future.
Children can laugh hundreds of times in a day. Adults rarely laugh even twenty times. There isn’t enough laughter in our lives as we get older, so enjoy it where you find it and give thanks that it touched your life. On a side note, you can laugh for no reason and get the same health benefits of laughter. Give it a try, and then you will have another reason to be thankful when you see how good it makes you feel.
Some people would have no one to talk to all day long if not for a loving pet. Your pet doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It may not even be your personal pet – maybe it belongs to your neighbor. Animals love you no matter what if you are kind to them. Give thanks for the unconditional love of your pets.
Truth is such an important value, but it seems not as many people seem to practice it today as in the past. That’s why it’s such a blessing when we do find it. Live your truth – be authentic. Don’t be too concerned if people don’t like it, they just aren’t your people. Give thanks for that, too.
Whether it’s reading, crafting, woodworking, skydiving or fishing, our hobbies and pastimes are often the most enjoyable time of the day. They’re certainly worth being thankful for. If you don’t have a hobby, find something you like to do and just do it. You will be thankful you did.
The trees rustling in the breeze, a gentle stream, squirrels and rabbits scurrying around the yard. Give thanks for the beauty and comfort nature brings.
What a boring world this would be without color! Reds, blues, greens, yellows… even black and white make the world visually attractive and interesting. Take the time to appreciate the variety of colors our Creator has put here on this planet for our enjoyment.
Music is so powerful! It has an almost mystical, supernatural effect the human psyche. Think about how good the music you enjoy makes you feel. That’s something to be thankful for indeed.
While we never enjoy them, trials and struggles strengthen us and make us better people. If it weren’t for the trials of our lives, we wouldn’t have the appreciation of the blessings. Give thanks for the lessons you learn and the love you receive during trying times.
Living life with gratitude will help you find peace, contentment, and comfort every day. Give gratitude for the things we’ve shared in this article, and then search for your own reasons to be thankful today. The more you practice gratitude, the more your whole attitude and demeanor will change for the better.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.