How do you start each day?
Do you wake up and think “oh no, not another day” or do you start each day feeling optimistic and ready to take on the world?
How you start your day has a HUGE impact on how your whole day pans out. And it’s not just wishful thinking – there are entire organisations set up to study just how much of a difference gratitude and happiness makes to our lives.
“The greatest source of happiness is the ability to be grateful at all times.” ~ Zig Ziglar
Although most of us have days when we are happy and grateful for what we have, it is only when we make gratitude a daily habit that we see the biggest benefits.
“Oh no” you say, “Another daily habit to add to my already exhausting list of things I have to do!”
But honestly, this is one that you can add in without adding any extra time to your schedule – honestly!
Before I even get out of bed, I start each day by thinking of 3 things that I am grateful for. They don’t have to be large things and most often are things that have happened over the past day or involve family & friends or just how I am feeling in myself, but they are things that I am really grateful for. Thinking about these first thing in the morning – every morning – helps me tune my brain in to the positive things in my life and sets me up for a day of the same. I also do the same when I go to bed at night, remembering the little things that have made me smile throughout the day. No extra time added here at all.
You could also do the same when you are in the shower or in the car on your way to work – whichever works best for you.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ~ Melody Beattie
The Law of Attraction states that “Like Attracts Like”, so if you are thinking of all the reasons your life isn’t the way you want it to be you tend to attract more of the same. Ever noticed those friends you see on Facebook that always seem to have bad luck whilst others are always enjoying life?! It really is as simple as starting your day being grateful for what you already have, as this invites more of the same to come to you. That isn’t to say that you won’t face adversity or struggle, but you will face it with a much more positive attitude and a sense that you can get through it, rather than being a victim of what’s happening to you.
If that’s not enough of a reason to think about adding gratitude to your daily routine, then take a look at this brilliant infographic from Greater Good in Action at Berkeley University:
There is a lot of great information here, but what I was most interested to see was the WHERE? section – with the UK lagging in the most ungrateful nations list versus places such as India and the Philippines being most grateful. The correlation between material goods and gratitude is somewhat skewed don’t you think?!
So, my challenge this week is to wake up each morning and think of at least 3 things that you are grateful for and write them down. Keep a list over the week and see how both your attitude and your days change… Do they get easier when you remember that you are already blessed with so much?
Let me know how you get on,