Nepal faded from the news a while ago and the chatter in the media has shifted to other topics. In a nation with already limited resources in every aspect, tragedies like this are more than devastating. And months later, the aftermath from the earthquakes is still very real—there’s still a lot to be done.
As I am typing these words, many thoughts swirl in my head from sadness to encouragement, until my mind stops on the word “gratitude”. I’m so unbelievably and overwhelmingly grateful that I’m given the opportunity to go to Nepal and be a part of something much, much bigger than me. I’m so thankful that I can spend a few weeks with an internationally acclaimed doctor and watch her closely. I’m overjoyed that maybe in a small way my actions can make a difference in someone’s life there. And I’m energized by knowing that this experience will make a huge impact on mine.
I have a lot to be grateful for. But don’t picture me sitting cross-legged for 20 minutes in a zen room. And don’t think that you’ll have to do that either if you’d like to walk more on the “grateful side of life”. It’s easy to feel thankful when we have something big happening in our lives. But we can find the same buzz in our daily lives, too. Here are 4 ways to practice gratitude without twisting your body into a pretzel:
1. Recognize it’s a mindset
This New York Times article describes how people with a dispositional gratitude mindset view the world. At the end, the author closes with “Gratitude is the ability to see and appreciate this other almost magical [gift] economy. G. K. Chesterton wrote that “thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” People with grateful dispositions see their efforts grandly but not themselves. Life doesn’t surpass their dreams but it nicely surpasses their expectations.”Attitude is a mindset. Develop a gratitude attitude. Click To Tweet
2. Make it a daily routine
Spend a few minutes in bed after waking or before falling asleep. Take an inventory of your day and pause on the events, people and things you’re grateful for. Hear them, touch them, see them, taste them, smell them-indulge your senses.
3. Notice the little moments
Did someone just pull out of a parking spot at the mall as you were driving up? Were you the first person to get to Starbucks for your morning pick-me-up? Notice the little treasures that make life sweeter for you on a daily basis. You don’t need to wait for big, life-changing things to sweep you off your feet. Just pay attention to the moment.
4. Keep a gratitude journal
Write about it. Chronicle the little things. Capture the big ones. And when you’re feeling down, soak up every word in it.
Feeling grateful yet?
Want to walk in my shoes in Nepal? Check out my videos and some stories from my journal.
Image by Kimberly Appelcline, freeimages.com