Welcome to Week 17 of One Simple Change: my year-long series of posts that focus on small changes…changes that when practiced and cultivated into habits will help improve the quality of your life and help make you a healthier person.
As I stated in my last 2 posts, this week marks 3 years since I started this blog. Because I am so thankful for my readers, and because I read this wonderful post this week, gratitude has really been on my mind as of late. So gratitude is what I want to focus on for One Simple Change today.
I have to be honest: I never thought I’d be writing a post about gratitude here. I started this site as a recipe blog, and I didn’t plan to stray too far from discussions of food and its impact on health. So why am I writing about this topic? Because an all-around healthy lifestyle is about more than the foods you eat. And practicing gratitude appears to have an impact on both health and happiness.
I am not sure where I read it (The Secret, maybe?), but I’ve always liked the following quote: “until we are grateful for what we already have, we can’t expect anything new to come into our life”.
To me, this means that our lives can’t change or improve if we spend all of our time thinking about what we don’t have. We must appreciate what we do have before anything new and potentially positive can come our way.
My go-to site for wisdom of this sort is Zen Habits, and I love what author Leo Babauta has to say about gratitude. I love the idea of holding a daily “gratitude session”, too.
I am not a particularly spiritual person, so for me, practicing gratitude simply means devoting some time to thinking about and being grateful for everything positive that exists in my life- my family, my friends, my health, my house, my pets, good food, the ability to connect with others through this blog, etc. Are there negative things in my life? Sure. But when I am practicing gratitude, I put those out of my mind, and focus only on things that are positive.
I’ve been trying to do this more and more often as I find that practicing gratitude calms me down when I am feeling stressed. It also helps me reverse the negative thought patterns I occasionally fall into, and it is a pretty effective way to turn a bad day around.
And don’t be afraid to share your gratitude with others…tell people that you appreciate them! Phone calls and thank you notes, in particular, let others know that you are grateful for something they did, or simply that you are glad they are a part of your life.
Are you new to the concept of practicing gratitude or is this old hat to you? What do you think? Are you “in” to this week’s One Small Change? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.