Count your blessings.
Well, do you? Count them? If you’re not, you most certainly are missing out. For one, grateful people are happier. It’s true, they experience less stress, are more productive and successful, and even sleep better. Also, people who count their blessings are nicer. For real. They have better relationships and are more sensitive and empathetic. So, if you aren’t acknowledging your blessings, why not?
We grow up being taught to mind our manners. Among the first words both my children spoke were “thank you” which sounded more like “tee too,” but they got their point across. We speak these words dozens of times throughout the day. Someone drops a fax on your desk, thank you. You walk into the post office and the person in front of you holds the door, thanks so much. Your child clears the dishes at dinner, thanks honey (ok this is made up, my son ate his dinner in the car on the way to baseball practice the other night). But really, these expressions of gratitude are more automatic than sincere.
What this tells me is we know WHAT to be grateful for. At least on the surface. We are subconsciously recognizing when a good deed is done or we are blessed by another. But you do realize there are many more blessings in life besides a positive transaction between two people, right? There does not have to be a WHO to give thanks to. Sometimes a blessing in my day is the sunshine streaming in through my office window. I’m not looking up to the sun saying, hey thanks big guy. Or maybe the stars align and my sister and I find the time in our crazy lives to get our kiddos together. Ummm, thank you invisible forces.
Just because there isn’t a source to express our gratitude to, doesn’t mean it should go unnoticed. In fact, I think we should call attention to those blessings more! It’s amazing the good that comes “just because,” without necessary rhyme or reason. The more you pay attention to these benefits, the more you notice. And the more they multiply.
Which leads me to the HOW. That right there is the key. How do you count your blessings? Don’t rely on your mechanical “thank yous” to cheer you up and make you more considerate. Get intentional about gratitude. Give those blessings moments to shine in your day. Some people keep journals, some pray at night to give thanks, others have a family ritual at the dinner table. I celebrate three good things from the day with my kids before bed each night. Your desired method doesn’t matter. What counts is the counting. Every day, even the bad ones. Especially the bad ones.
WHY? Life becomes more manageable when you focus on the blessings. And consider the law of attraction here, the more attention you give to blessings, the more you will receive. Since my own shift to a gratitude-filled life, there have been an abundance of benefits that wouldn’t have come my way had I not been open to receiving them. Am I more deserving now than I was before? No, but my walls are down allowing blessings to flow. Am I happier counting my blessings? Damn right! Am I nicer? I’ll let you be the judge! Life is short, I’ll take any advantage I can get. One little life change, one HUGE impact … I’ll take it and you should too.