An Attitude of Gratitude + 50 Things I am Grateful for

The Peak of Mt Gillen from the summit of the mountain.

Earlier this year when I was in a total slump I bit the bullet and made an appointment with a counsellor. While there I received a metaphorical slap in the face. My counsellor told me that I should try adopting “an attitude of gratitude” by listing five things I am grateful for each morning.

For some reason, possibly because I was in such a deep pit of anxiety and self-pity, I instantly internally rejected what she was saying all the while I nodded my head and said things like “that sounds like a good idea. I think I’ll try it.” In my defence I did try it by keeping a gratitude jar on my desk at work, but I didn’t really commit to it. I probably put a grand total of 5 folded up post-it notes in the jar over a total of 3 months and chalked it up as something that just didn’t work for me.

Since starting a new job and emerging into a space of greater happiness I started thinking more and more about adopting an attitude of gratitude and what it actually means.

What are the Benefits of Gratitude?

Over recent years a lot of research has been conducted into the benefits of expressing gratitude on our social, emotional and physical health. Overall, research has found that people who regularly express gratitude and more likely to experience fewer illnesses, aches and pains and are more likely to engage in activities that promote their health such as regular exercise and eating healthy foods. They are also likely to experience a greater sense of optimism and self-esteem, and develop deeper social connections. This all makes sense if you subscribe to the idea that you get what you give.

But the thing with adopting an attitude of gratitude is that it can be really hard when you first start out. So here is a list of 50 things I am grateful for today that might inspire you to make your own list.

  1. Sitting in the sun on a warm winter’s day
  2. Videos on social media about cute dogs/cats/other animals
  3. The smell of brewing coffee
  4. Chocolate
  5. Head massages
  6. Manicures that make you feel like the bomb
  7. Video streaming services
  8. Fluffy pillows and warm quilts
  9. Friends
  10. Fresh fruit
  11. Access to a pool on a hot summer’s day
  12. Access to the internet
  13. Accessible, safe drinking water
  14. A warm meal for dinner
  15. Sunrises and sunsets
  16. Music to fit my every mood
  17. Gluten free muffin mix
  18. Books – at the library, at home and on Kindle
  19. My Nintendo DS (and Animal Crossing)
  20. Looking back through holiday memories
  21. Board games!
  22. Access to a gym membership
  23. Procedures that make it easier to take a genuine sick day
  24. Access to thrift stores
  25. My indoor plants which make my living room look alive
  26. A comfy couch
  27. A roof over my head
  28. Starry skies
  29. The red dirt of the outback
  30. Easy to access hiking trails
  31. A loving family
  32. Access to affordable health care
  33. Having my personal space
  34. Cuddles and spooning
  35. Being able to clean my house
  36. Pillow forts
  37. A great group of colleagues
  38. Having a working car
  39. Travel blogs that inspire
  40. Eucalyptus oil
  41. My students who even when they drive me crazy, are amazing
  42. Earrings
  43. Cafes
  44. Watching the local wildlife out my window
  45. My camel pack
  46. A freshly made bed
  47. Freshly shaven legs
  48. Hearing the words “I love you”
  49. The ability to change my life on my own terms
  50. Being able to think of 50 things to be grateful for

What are you grateful for?

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