Making Gratefulness a Priority

Most of us don’t wake up and immediately think, “thank you world, universe, God/Goddess for another day on this planet!” Mine is usually, where is that sound emanating from, oh right, alarm clock, turn off alarm clock, don’t fall back asleep, get up, NOW!!!! But I want to challenge you to start your day with gratitude; then carry it through your day and see if this little change makes a massive change in your overall well being. I know it may seem like a waste of time, but think about it for a minute, could a mere thankful thought be, just maybe, worth the investment of a few minutes of your day? Come on, you spend at least 5 minutes just scrolling through Netflix everyday!

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar

Gratitude sets a tone, we are usually taught from a young age to acknowledge your thanks when someone gives you something or makes you something. Sending a thank you note or saying, “thank you,” is expected, but what if instead of doing this out of social necessity you set a goal that included learning to show gratefulness for the little and seemingly, inconsequential, things in life? When you wake up in the morning, you run through a list, I am grateful for waking up, I am grateful for a bed, I am grateful to be safe….

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” —Oprah Winfrey

Why would running through a list of things when you wake up change anything? It doesn’t physically change anything, but it does change your perspective, by listing the things you have to be grateful for first thing in the morning it sets a tone of, “I have a good life,” or, “there are things that are not going well, but hmm, I do have a few things that are good in my life, it isn’t all bad.” This is a mindset shift, it shifts from the negativity that often builds up in a normal day, instead of seething about the coffee line being so long, pay things forward and buy a drink for the person behind you. You will be a little shocked at how doing something for someone else will raise your gratitude meter enormously.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Brault

Inevitably at some stage of your life you will be told to hold on to this moment...because it will go so fast! Let me tell you, most of the time I want to scream at the person, “Of course it will, time is a constant thing and it will go at the same pace as it always does and do you see me struggling right now, so if time could just hurry up and march on, I would be oh so grateful!” I am usually a very kind person, on the outside at least, so I usually say, “Ha, yes, you are too right,” all the while plastering a smile on! I get it, being grateful for everything, every moment, is totally unattainable and that is a healthy and normal attitude, no question.

There are also really bad things that happen to people, unspeakable horrors, there is also disease and mental illness that just seems unfair, but I have come to find that even the worst things in my life, things that I would not wish on my worst enemy, in retrospect, to be deserving of a measure of gratefulness. You may wonder how or even why, and I would ask you think about the truly bad events in life and see what they have taught you, it could be that it taught you that abuse is not okay and that you did not deserve it and then, you found the courage to walk away. Maybe it pushed you to get an education and help others find that same courage in the role of a Counselor, Therapist or Psychologist.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
-Melody Beattie

So let’s make a promise to ourselves to start looking at the cup as half full, to look at waiting room times as our own personal mini vacations (a little bit of stretch, but go ahead and scroll away in peace or read that book or listen to that podcast you have been saving, doesn’t sound half bad), rest when you don’t feel well (those sick days are meant for that!) and when times are tough and you want to cry, accept the need to cry and be grateful you have allowed yourself to feel and live in the moment.

"Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one's voice." -Joseph B. Wirthlin

Today, we are grateful for all of you, and for entrusting us to provide a place where you feel safe to give and get support. We are humbled.

-Team SG

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