This isn't a recipe, a workout, or an exercise in building confidence but it's something that I want to share. Every day I make a gratitude list. It's really simple and only takes me a couple minutes but it helps me to keep things in perspective. It forces me to take a step back of whatever may be going on that day, good or bad, and reflect on what I have to be grateful. It can be the smallest thing like something good that happened that day or to a much larger scale like my mom's recovery. The point is that there aren't any specific rules or qualifications to make the list, just something that you are grateful for. Three things is all you have to put on the list, the first three that come to mind. Each day, though, you have to come up with something different so that's where the challenge lies!
I feel like it's so easy to take things for granted and I know I'm at fault for doing that every day. But I'm trying to change that and even though I know it'll probably never be perfect, I can already tell that my thought process is different. I have a reminder set on my phone for 9am each day to make my list. In fact, I've been doing this ever since May 2013 when my mom had her brain aneurysm. At that time so many bad things were happening that I needed to start focusing on the good as well for my sanity and well-being. I was so stressed and on edge that I needed something hopeful to cling to, some bright spot on the horizon. Making a gratitude list helped me to see that even in the midst of the most difficult time in my life, I was still blessed. God had never abandoned me or my family and He never will. Making lists reminds me of that fact.
It doesn't have to be during a difficult time because I find that making my list for the day is just as effective as when going through the good times. Either way it allows me to see the good in my life regardless of what I may be going through. I think it's an important exercise and good for both my attitude and perspective. Because at the end of the day I realize not to sweat the small stuff because in the big picture, life is good!
Here's an example of my list that I wrote this morning:
1. I'm not anxious this summer to wear a bikini at the beach
2. My mom was able to stay alone by herself all day yesterday
3. Get to leave for vacation on Saturday!