Gratitude Lists

This morning I read a post by Kim on SpiralSpun about simple things which brought happiness into her life. She was using a gratitude list to find reasons to be cheerful. I am a fan of gratitude lists because they help us focus on the good things in life.

It is easy to get sucked up in the negative. The news bombards us with terrible stories of war and disasters. This week my Facebook feed has had stories and photos from friends experiencing cyclones, hospitalizations, crime and death. I have a vacancy in my Personal Assistant staff, which is causing me to alter my routine and scramble to find coverage. When my basic needs are up in the air, my ability to stay in the moment is tested.

Gratitude lists cause us to change our attention. They force us to find positive. And when we shift from negative to positive, we become more aware of how much we have to appreciate. I find it is easier to be generous and charitable towards others when I review my gratitude lists. I need all the help I can get with being charitable these days!

Composing a gratitude list, even if it is only a mental list and not one written on paper, makes me less bitter. My lists keep me in the present, and help prevent anxiety over potential future problems. Last week when I realized I was wasting hours trying to solve my wheelchair charger dilemma, a gratitude list helped bring me back from the edge of yet another meltdown.

Gratitude lists don’t have to be grandiose. Although Kim’s list contained ten items, sometimes just one reminder is all it takes to snap me out of negativity. If I were to create a list today, it would include the following things for which I am grateful:

  1. The space heater under my desk which helps keep my feet warm in the winter.
  2. Cuddle-duds. Required attire for this chick in a chair from November – April. Thin enough to provide extra warmth without adding bulk or weight which would restrict my limited movement.
  3. Fifteen days until departure for Australia.
  4. The Broadway channel on the internet radio station I’m listening to. Now playing: “Electricity” from Billy Elliott. This leads me to….
  5. Memories of fun times with my best friend Stephanie. Thinking of her always makes me smile.
  6. Cadbury chocolate. Not the cheap kind made in the USA, but real Cadbury like the bar in my desk brought to me by a friend who recently traveled overseas. I will be returning the favor next month when I return from Australia.

Sure – this is a short list and there are more things for which I am grateful. But taking time to notice the small things, as Kim suggested in her post, means I am less likely to take the larger things (like my job, my car, my accessible apartment) for granted.

Give it a try. What is on your gratitude list today? Share it with the rest of us in the comments!

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12 thoughts on “Gratitude Lists

  1. I am greatful to be able to see wildlife in my back yard again. When they venture it, I feel hopeful about the weather.
    I am greatful for the work team I have. We get along well, compliment each other’s strengths, and have been supporting each other as we take an 8 week challenge to make healthy food and exercise choices.
    I remain eternally greatful for my spouse- the wonderful life we built together and the beautiful family we created.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan – I could edit your first comment, but then I wouldn’t laugh as much at your second comment 🙂 I’ll give you a WordPress tutorial next time so you’ll know how to edit it yourself if you want to.

      As always, I am eternally grateful to you, and all the love and encouragement you provide to all of us. And I’m grateful for your husband and your family too!

      Like

    • Where were you last year when I was desperately trying to find a travel partner?! It took me months to find someone to serve as my companion/personal assistant for the trip. Finding someone who wants a two week, all expenses paid, trip to Australia was more difficult than I thought.

      I’m SO excited about the trip!! Returning to visit those I lived with is a dream coming true. I started blogging because I needed to write, but also so I could share my trip with those at home. This will be my first international trip where I can remain connected with those at home while I’m on the other side of the world. I’m so curious to see how this changes the experience. You can share the trip with me through the blog.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. When difficulties get me down (financial, not being able to find good work, worries about the future, not being able to drive) gratitude for what I do have helps put these things in perspective. It takes an active desire to see the positive which isn’t always easy. x

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  3. Gratitude lists are great, but I tend to forget to make them when I get caught up in the mess of everyday life. They’ve done studies on these and how they can actually really increase happiness over the long term.

    My current gratitude list:
    1. My upcoming trip with my best friend to Las Vegas.
    2. My loving pooch who always gives me unconditional love and cuddles.
    3. My family and friends always providing a constant stream of love and support.
    4. The hot cup of Vietnamese lotus tea I’m preparing for this cold winter night.
    5. Netflix!!!!

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] then appreciating, admiring and cultivating those things helps us develop extraordinary lives. I am a fan of gratitude lists as a means of recording all the many reasons to be thankful. Writing down the reasons you are […]

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