As 2019 comes to an end and we head into the new year I am reminded of the power of being grateful. Being grateful means to be aware and thankful of what you have. It means being in the moment and recognizing that you have certain things in your world that others may not. On a daily basis, I observe people simply ignoring this. It is easy to look ahead and want things you don’t have.
There are not a lot of guarantees in life. Here are a few things we can predict about our lives.
We will have good days and some bad days.
We will have healthy times and some unhealthy times.
We will be around births and deaths of people we know.
We will have a range of enjoyable and not so enjoyable feelings.
We will have fantastic experiences and some awful ones as well.
Why is being grateful important?
Life is cyclical. We go through tough times and for many they are followed by good times. There may be years in your life when holidays are amazing and very enjoyable. There may be times where holidays are difficult and filled with memories that are hard to think about. Gratitude is being thankful in the moment for what you have. It also includes not seeking more.
I find that being in the moment can be challenging. Recognizing where we are currently and truly appreciating what we have is grounding. It allows us to feel satisfied and emotionally stable.
Being grateful is very good for a person’s self-worth. The simple act of awareness of what we have and the appreciation for it is healthy. It allows us to feel good about accomplishments, family, friends, our health and other positive things we have in our world.
Can you name 5 things you are grateful for? Take a moment and think about this. These things may change over time, but in the moment right now what are your grateful for?
We all have the ability to be grateful, but many of our lives seem to be moving so fast that stopping to be aware of what you appreciate feels challenging. I would suggest when you have a quiet moment during your day taking the time the consider what you have in your life. What do you have that you feel happy about? The people, places, and things you feel most grateful for. Do not overlook your health. When we are feeling good it is extremely important to take time to acknowledge we are well and to consider what we need to continue to do to maintain this.
Most individuals I meet want to feel good about themselves. The simple act of recognizing what you should be grateful for is an easy first step. Being mindful of this on a daily basis allows a person to not only feel better emotionally, but also to savor the feeling of happiness in the moment.
As human beings we all have the ability to stop and think about what we have and too be grateful. Recognizing what we have and appreciating it allows us the opportunity to get through the tough times in our lives. It is my hope that we all work harder at harnessing the power of being grateful in the new year. This will allow for less conflict among people and many more happy days.
Marc Lehman is a licensed family therapist from Connecticut. He runs an online college coaching business called U ARE HEARD. For more information please visit www.uareheard.com.