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Overthinking Gratitude

When I first started a gratitude journal I honestly had a brain cramp… no thoughts. I couldn’t think of anything because I thought it had to be monumental. Have you ever felt that?

You try to come up with all the big mountain moving moments. But what about the little things?

It’s more common than you may think to try to think big and skip over the millions of other things, especially the “bad stuff.”

I am grateful for my morning apple cider, reading books, random baby hugs, food in my pantry, when I can finish the laundry… okay that one is pretty monumental. Gratitude can be simple. Don’t overthink it!

It’s also okay if your gratitude list looks similar day to day. Every day I am grateful for a new day. Every time my little guy naps longer than 45 minutes I will be grateful for that. Every time I catch a sunrise or sunset I am grateful for that. It’s not a one and done deal. Gratitude expands and the more we notice, the more we will have to be grateful for.

Now that gratitude is part of my daily practice I’m always surprised at how much comes to mind. And more importantly, how much I notice in the moment throughout my day! It is also getting easier to see trials and tough times in the light of gratitude. We can learn so much from reflection!

For a while after I moved home after living on my own for a year I felt a little defeated. I wasted a lot of time and money - I’ll have to share a more complete story later, but for a while I was a little bitter with myself. In the moment I was grateful for the friends I made and the fun times I had. There was still a lot to be grateful for, but I wished I had taken better advantage of my time and resources.

Fast forward several years and I can see so many pieces of that time connecting into where I am now. The pieces I was bitter about have now become moments I am extremely grateful for because I can see how they have shaped and changed me.

So it may take time, you may still have some brain cramps every once in a while. But start paying attention to the little things. What makes you smile? What helps your day run more smoothly? Who has made an impact in your life? What have you learned today?

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