Every November, our culture finds a sudden appreciation for gratitude. We start to hear “what are you thankful for?” on every corner as people shop for turkey and prepare their Thanksgiving feasts. While I love this holiday, and the reminder to be grateful it brings, I believe gratitude is something we should focus on more than just once a season.
It is part of my practice to focus on gratitude on a daily basis. Before sleeping each night, I try to
remember one thing I am grateful for. Somedays, it’s harder than others. Just the other day I had a rough, long work day. I came home feeling exhausted and angry. I didn’t want to be grateful. I wanted to cry and sleep and ignore the world around me. But my practice has taught me that I can cry, sleep, be angry, and still find a way to be grateful. Because there is always something to be grateful for. Are you struggling to find gratitude in your life? Here is a list of questions and activities that allow my to instill more gratitude in my days. I hope it will do the same for you!
1. What is one thing that made you smile today?
2. How does your body serve you on a daily basis?
3. Name three people who love you. What do they love about you?
4. Take a walk around your neighborhood. List all the beautiful things you see, small or large.
5. Breathe in. Breathe out. What does your breath allow you to do?
6. Find three things in your house you use every day. How do they help you?
7. Write down the name of one person that makes your life better. Now list all the ways they do so. This can be a family member, a friend, a pet, a colleague… everyone counts!
8. Look around. What do your eyes allow you to see?
9. Find something that smells nice (essential oils, vanilla extract, a vase of flowers…whatever appeals to you!) and take a big, deep inhale of the scent. Now write down some of your favorite smells. What memories do those scents bring to mind?
10. Listen. Sit for five minutes and write down everything you hear. How do your ears make life easier? What are some of your favorite sounds?
11. What is your favorite food? Treat yourself to this tonight. But take your time. Take small bites and really savor the taste. Write down some things you notice as you taste. What makes this meal so delicious? Why is it your favorite?
12. Collect three things from around your home that have different textures. Sit with each one. Rub them between your fingers and write down everything you observe about the different textures. As you walk around today, pay extra close attention to the texture of everything you touch.
13. Find a place in nature (local parks work too!) and take a seat. Look at clouds and the sun. Smell the trees. Dig your fingers into the dirt. Listen to the birds in the trees. Write down all the ways nature serves you.
About the Author
Sarah Dittmore, the Director of Operations at True Nature Travels, is always seeking a new adventure. When she’s not barefoot hiking in the mountains of Peru, kayaking around an island off the coast of Italy, or camping in a rainforest in Costa Rica, Sarah writes about her adventures on her travel blog, Autobiography of an Adventurer. Join her as she travels the world and documents the wild and wonderful things she discovers along the way at www.autobiographyofanadventurer.com.