reprinted from my book, Heart Sparks: 7 Practices For Loving Your Life
People will tell you that, if you’re feeling sad, depressed, hopeless, the best thing to do is make a gratitude list. To find simple things that you are grateful for, to shift your attention to what you do have, to what is working in your life.
But often, when we are in this dark place, it’s hard to conjure a list. And when we do, the things we come up with seem too simple and silly. Like a roof over our heads, a perfect cup of coffee, that our phone didn’t fall in the toilet.
We make these lists, but we don’t often feel great waves of gratitude. And that’s OK. Because just thinking about some positive things in your life will create a shift. Because suddenly you are aware that not everything in your world is horrible.
Eventually you’ll be able to really feel the simple joys of saying thank you. You’ll realize that having a roof over your head keeps you dry and cool and comfortable. That when you enjoy a perfect cup of coffee, nothing else has your attention. And when you think about how inconvenienced you might have been if your phone had gotten wet, well, this is when gratitude becomes gladitude.
Gladitude is saying ‘thank you’ from a deeper place in your heart. Like you really mean it. Because you do.
I invite you to start a gratitude list. Every day, find a scrap of paper and write down something you are grateful for in that moment. Then throw the paper away.
This is not about keeping a gratitude journal or finding the right notebook to write in. This is about the gratitude itself, which is why I encourage you use scraps of whatever paper you have lying around. Once you write your gratitude and acknowledge it, you no longer need to keep the paper.
Do this every day this week, at the same time every day so that it becomes a ritual. You may even want to continue the practice beyond just a week.