Extra! Extra! Read all about it! It seems every newspaper this past week had an article on the benefits of practicing gratitude. According to one study report by Yvonne Abraham in November 27th’s Boston Globe, “ It makes you happier, healthier, possibly wealthier, nicer, and more popular, among other delightful things. All of this happens because practicing gratitude makes you happier with what you have, more focused on others, and more mindful of the future.”
Recommendations for keeping a gratitude journal abound. It’s that simple: every day list (in a notebook or even just in your mind) three things for which you are grateful. But I suggest a variation as well as this. Sure you’re grateful for family, but that’s a pretty broad category. Every once in a while, zoom in. Oh, you’re grateful for your friend? Zoom in: spend a few minutes thinking about your friend. Exactly what makes her so dear to you? Maybe it’s the sound of her laughter. Be grateful for that. Maybe it’s her wild curly hair. Be grateful of that. Maybe it’s because she’s always got your back. Be grateful for that.
Oddly enough ,this idea came to me when my cat Benedict (aka Bennie) was sitting in my lap. I was feeling grateful that he provides so much comfort. But then I zoomed in on him, every bit of him. And I realized that one thing that makes this orange tabby so special is that he has both white AND black whiskers. Most unusual. I’m grateful for that. He has a long, thick tail, and he likes me to stroke it and bend it. Very unusual. I’m grateful for that. When I whistle for him, he shows up; usually; I’m grateful for that.
But you get the idea. You can zoom in on any person or object, even on something as simple as a flower, for which you’re grateful. Hope you have fun with this idea.
(c) Dorothy C. Judd
Next post: Monday, December 8th