How often do we catch ourselves saying, "I wish I had a better job that paid more money" or "I wish I had a nicer car, a bigger house, and better clothes," etc? Probably too often. Many humans...frogs, too...find themselves in a constant state of the "I wants" when what we really need is simply more gratitude for what we already have. Research shows that the rich aren't really and happier day-to-day than the rest of us. In fact, many of those rich folks are unhappy and stressed out; they actually spend less time doing enjoyable things.
Humans who are grateful have better relationships with friends and family, They're happier, less depressed, and less stressed. So how can we develop a greater sense of gratitude? I'm glad you asked!
You can start by making a list of the things that you are already grateful for; maybe you just bought that new car you've always dreamed of owning. Or maybe you just got a nice promotion and raise at work. Write about the big stuff first. You could also write a thank you letter to someone you've never ever thanked; the parking lot attendant at your workplace; the garbage collector, the mail person, or the cashier and bagger at your local grocery store. Maybe it's your own mom or dad. Here are some other ways you can develop a deeper sense of gratitude.
1. Get to know someone who doesn't have what you have. Think about something that you take for granted; your unwashed (and unloved) 2009 automobile, your old laptop that you use and depend on every day. Now find someone who doesn't even own a car or a computer. Maybe someone who has to ride the bus to the public library each day just to get online! Go ahead. talk to them. What is their life like? What difficulties do they face every day that you don't because you have a reliable car, your own laptop, and wi-fi, etc. Is what this stranger saying starting to make your own life look a whole lot better?
2. Appreciate what you have by giving more. If you really want to get more "bang for your buck" then direct your dollars (euros, pesos, yen) outward. The next time you're about to splurge on an upgraded and expensive phone (or other gizmo or gadget), stop! Donate that money to a worthy cause. The phone you have is only 6 months old and still works fine. Okay, here's another idea. Clean out your closet. You know all those clothes in the back of your closet you're going to wear once you go on that diet? Get rid of them. Why? Because someone out there needs those jeans, coat, sweater, dresses right now. You aren't using them (and probably never will) so why not give them to someone who can use benefit from having them?
3. Start, and actually use a daily gratitude journal. List three things every day that you are grateful for. If you think you've run out of stuff, try a few of these; Be grateful for have two good legs (or arms), a back that doesn't hurt when you walk or bend over, a brain that thinks clearly and logically (at least most of the time anyway), warm and dry socks, clean water to drink whenever you're thirsty, a shower or bathtub to wash up in, or how about being grateful for your bed and that roof over your head?
National Roof Over Your Head Day was created as a day to be thankful for what you have, starting with the roof over your head. There are many things that we have that we take for granted and do not stop to appreciate how fortunate we are for having them. To celebrate National Roof Over Your Head Day you can pick a name or two off of a Christmas Giving Tree, volunteer at or make a contribution to a homeless shelter in your area and maybe someone else will be able to have a “roof over their head” tonight. Use #RoofOverYourHeadDay to post on social media. Today, as always, I am grateful for you, dear reader.
I hope you all had a pleasant weekend. I sure did! You're invited back here tomorrow for another blog on something or other (It's a surprise...to me, too!)