How to: be grateful

Optimism isn’t always easy. When you’ve had a day where everything seems to move against you and you have forgotten exactly what it’s like to feel powerful, or together, or cheerful…

That’s the most important time to work on it.

As I just said to Karen, if you’re sinking into despair, try writing a list of things you’re grateful for.

Start small. What’s your favourite thing to have for breakfast? The feeling of sliding into fresh sheets and going to sleep, the movie which will always make you smile? The smell of your moisturiser or your favourite shower gel?

Think about the people around you, the people you can laugh with, the people who understand you, who share your interests and who know and accept you.

Make a list, not just in your head but somewhere you can refer back to. In a notebook or somewhere online, where you can start adding up these little things and these precious people and then hopefully the list will start to grow.

As you think of things you love and enjoy, hopefully more things will spring to mind: the smell of fresh laundry, sun kissed and aired, the lyrics of a song that makes you feel stronger, projects you can finish or do with a friend, buying fish and chips for dinner instead of cooking. Watching cute cats or music videos or something from a comedy channel on youtube, singing out loud and finding a recipe that you love.

Breathe deeply and look over your list, read it again.

Keep doing it until you feel calmer, and then do it again tomorrow. The next day too. It gets easier and easier, I promise you.

2012-06-27 16.36.01

(photo by me, sunset from up on Boomrock)

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