Living a life of gratitude is a hot topic these days. Just google it and you’ll find everything from ongoing blogs to friends’ daily Facebook postings for the Thanksgiving holiday. I too got in on the action when a few months ago I took Ed Gandia’s advice and started the daily exercise of writing a full page of gratitudes. It’s been interesting.
When I first started I could whip off my page without even thinking. God has blessed me immensely and it was easy to list things for which I’m thankful: Faith, family, friends, home, food, job…all of the very obvious. After a while, however, I noticed my pages becoming rather redundant. I then gave the exercise greater thought and began listing things I often overlook, thinks I take for granted: The intriguing mist on my morning walks, the coziness of my home office, and the gentle blue of my husband’s eyes.
In yesterday’s Missoulian article, Alice Miller wrote how daily gratitude changes the brain. She referred to research that shows “people who entered gratitude posts every day for 14 days showed significant increases in gratitude and happiness, greater satisfaction with life and higher resilience to stress. The group also reported fewer headaches and less stomach pain, coughs and sore throats.”
I have to admit I’m not diligent with my daily pages. But this week of Thanksgiving I’m reminded to get back on track. Gratitude should be more than once a year.