Saying we are grateful once in a while is not enough! Neither is reflecting on life at a funeral or a big life event. I mean, there is nothing wrong with being grateful at those moments but in order to have a happy life we need to be grateful daily.
I’ve started a new regiment recently where on my drive home I think about and name the people and things I am grateful for in my life. I do it for about five minutes, but the effects are amazing.
We forget a lot because that is how our brains are made. Can you imagine if our brain remembered everything it ever thought or experienced? We would be full in no time and there would be no room to spare for a new experience. But there is a cost to not remembering. The cost is that we might believe our lives to be one thing when in fact our memories tell us something contrary.
It is quite amazing if you dare to take on this exercise how many people you think of and how many happenings you recall that make you smile, not just in the past but from the very day you do it.
For a long time I kept a gratitude journal. It was the last thing I did just before I went to bed. I would write down ten things I was grateful for but for one reason or another I got out of the habit of doing so. It became a nuisance and I would forget. I would forget and then I would feel guilty that I didn’t do it, so over time out it went. But now it is back and I am thankful because it is exactly what I need.
I think much can be gained if you consciously, for about five minutes or so, at some point of your day, you stop and you thank God or the universe that thought you up, and made it your business to know and remember how great life is and that the best is yet to come.
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