Gratitude Lives in Moments
It’s easy to forget that days are routinely passing us by. We complain about the way they drag; we watch and wave them good riddance as they go. But one day, its five years ahead of the day we remember so vividly, unsure about how we got here. Last week doesn’t live in our short-term memory, and the misfortune of not being able to remember what we were thinking about 2 years ago, boggles the mind.
We will ask, where has the time gone? Why does it keep passing us by?
These questions can be left for the universe to answer, we can hit cruise control, living our lives in passivity, or we can pick a part each day and find something memorable, something lucky, something vaguely good. Harvard Health published a very helpful article on what gratitude is and the different ways we can cultivate it. You can find the full article here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier Harvard Health defines gratitude as “A thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible,” (Harvard Health).
Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami conducted a study of three different groups. The first group was asked to write down things they were grateful for, that week. The second group focused on daily frustrations, and the third group was asked to write down things that affected them during the week. After the 10-week study, they found that those who practiced gratitude, were far more optimistic about their lives and felt much better than the other two groups.
It is important that we write and think about the good things that happen to us.
It is easy to pick up our pens and write our anguish onto paper, ink bleeding through the page, in hopes that something can feel a fraction of what we do. But it should be just as important to share what gives us hope and makes us feel unapologetic about being on Earth. What inspires and makes us feel confident in our skin and in our life. It doesn’t need to be on paper, maybe gratitude for some of us is a walk around the neighborhood, where we can greet neighbors and remind ourselves of the place that we get to live in.
To breathe fresh air that we often forget about, and to feel our knees and ankles crack as they unlock their potential for movement with intention.
Gratitude can be practiced with a journal or even with thoughtful thinking.
Thanking someone mentally or listing all the reasons we are grateful for that person is an effective way to be mindful of our relationships and to step back and look at the good that others contribute to our lives. Our lives often resemble mass scales, one side always heavier or lighter than the other. There may be times when we truly find balance, but the beauty in that uncertainty is that we can practice and express gratitude to remedy those imbalances we may experience.
We can be grateful for our place in this moment in time and know that at least for now, there will be more small moments, worthy of recognition ahead of us. We should take it upon ourselves to walk through life, thanking the earth, our loved ones and ourselves for making it through another day and hope that tomorrow we can find something new to be grateful for.