Memorial Day is a time for gratitude. We show our gratitude and respect for the soldiers who have risked, those that continue to risk, and those that have sacrificed their lives in order to protect us and our freedom.
There are other days and events that make us feel truly grateful for what we have—our family, friends, health, opportunities. But, more often than not, that feeling of gratitude is fleeting. When a health scare or accident occurs we make resolutions to not take people / things for granted, to take better care of ourselves / others, etc. We are focused for a short while, but then the stresses and annoyances of life get in the way and we lose sight of all that we have to be thankful for.
Oprah Winfrey said that starting her gratitude journal is the single most important thing she’s ever done in her life—and we all know how much she has accomplished! Each night, for almost 20 years, she’s written down 5 things she’s grateful for.
If you focus on what you have, you’ll have a feeling of having more and you’ll be happier.
Try it. Write down just 3 things you are grateful for each night. There ARE things to be grateful for each day—EVEN IF you had a really crappy day or are going through a difficult time. They can be the SMALLEST things or gestures, like someone holding the door open for you, a chat with a friend, or a sunny day.
Also, look at things that seem like negatives and try to find something positive that came out of them. For example, maybe your car broke down, but as a result, a friend picked you up, so you got to spend some quality time with her.
Writing them down is key. It makes you really focus on the things. And, if you make it a habit to do this at the end of the day, you’ll be focused on noticing the positives in your life throughout the day.
When you start to “look on the bright side of things” that optimism will not only make you HAPPIER, but it will help you be better able to deal with setbacks and feel LESS STRESS—sounds good all around, doesn’t it? :)