Despite participating in #365grateful for several years, I’d still wake up with an expletive as soon as my alarm went off on certain mornings. A gratitude (or even a mediation) practice is no magic pill, but many of us believe that it’s the Holy Grail to serenity, sanity, and everlasting self-discipline.

Yet there are plenty of experts who tout its seemingly snake oil properties (clearer skin, better baking, better sex, just kidding, you still have to wash your face). But it turns out there are scientifically proven benefits to being grateful.

Although some days, some seasons, some years, it’s damn hard to smile at the sun. I’ve had friends say to me that I’m very good at finding things to be grateful for or that I’m a positive person, but I wasn’t always this annoying way.

I think a challenging childhood, the right books at the right times, and then a big knockdown in my late twenties to early thirties helped push me to figure out how to be a happier person. When I was going through a shitty time, trying to write down what I was grateful for didn’t work, but being in the moment (strangely enough) did.

It’s about figuring out what works for you, which is definitely no magic pill, no quick trick, or fast track to bliss. But for me it’s worth showing up and making the effort and realizing that those dickheads who cut the queue are still going to piss you off, but you might be able to let it go a little sooner and not let it ruin your day.

Some ideas:

// Daisy over at Simple Not Stressful suggests writing down 3 lovely things that happened to you at the end of your day. But she takes it a step further by putting it in her calendar so she can look back at a month or year and see so many good things she might have forgotten.

// Moksha at Happy Panda did a nice job of writing down all the types of lists we make, which got me thinking, why don’t we add ‘be grateful’ on our to-do lists? It almost seems too simple and easy.

// JML at JML297 shared Julia Cameron’s 100 things I love, so if you are into lists, you can get your gratitude on with five and then keep adding to them every day when you think about it, or get drunk and do it all at once. Or you can do twenty like JML.

The point is there’s no perfect way to be grateful or meditate.

Reminds me of Dan Harris’s book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story. I had no idea that he was some TV journalist so his story was really interesting. Anyway, this looks to be the audiobook for free online or you can check out other sites. I read it on my Kindle ages ago and enjoyed it.

 

Do you have a gratitude or meditation practice?

27 replies on “Discover Prompts, Day 30: Grateful

  1. That’s a great idea! I did try writing one thing I’m grateful for every morning but after a few weeks, I gave up. But I think I’m going to spend the last 5 minutes before sleeping thinking about what I was grateful for that day.
    Thank you for the post reference and thank you for being such a big support with the posts through the past few weeks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Same to you! I like making new blogging friends. 🙂

      Yeah, getting a new habit to stick can take a few tries. I liked Daisy’s idea but I think I made the mistake of trying to do it at the end of the day, which for me, is reading in bed. Mornings are really the times when I will do those ‘good things’ – it’s really a matter of figuring out what works best for you.

      Good luck!

      Like

  2. I did gratitude journaling for a few months but found myself just repeating the same stuff. Think it works best maybe weekly. Lots of research on how positively it can affect our lives. I find stoic negative visualisation has a big and immediate gratitude kick back

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting. That’s the one thing from Stoicism that I didn’t find useful. I think because I already negatively anticipate and visualize, and I needed tools to help me in the other direction.

      But in general, I’m a fan of Stoicism. 🙂

      I definitely repeat the same stuff I’m grateful for but I don’t see a problem with that. I think the practice is more important than trying to wring every bit of uniqueness out. It’s also a bit like creativity or meditation, sometimes you get breakthroughs… at least that’s been my experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Guess it’s about finding what works for each of us. For me gratitude journaling kind of worked- I may try it again in the future. But I’ve found negative visualisation to have an instant almost magical effect that is available at any time. You don’t want to overdo it but it really works for me but perhaps not everyone. Nice post in any case.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks. I’m glad the neg visualization works for you because when we read it, we were like, not for us! but that just means it does help others gain a better foothold or perspective which is what it’s all about. Cheers!

        Like

  3. I love the idea of putting the good stuff on the calendar–otherwise I will forget. I am a natural-born whiner. My automatic is to complain. My mom was the same, so it’s something I’m trying to unlearn. I do a better job of gratitude in my writing, so I should just write more, I guess!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be a nice way to switch gears. For me it’s been decades of trying to unlearn certain habits or ways of thinking, but I think if you are in the right time and place, learning to be more grateful can be rewarding. You may still complain, but you can be aware of the other side too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is something I should do as I have been struggling for a few days now. I am very grateful for the internet and being able to meet and befriend people like yourself Lani😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You too! I wish I could travel the world and meet all my blogging friends 🙂

      Yes to the INTERNET. I’ve had to add working internet and computer to my mental list of gratitude!

      I hope you can figure out a time when it works best for you – a quick mantra in the morning?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I have made a start with the meeting of blogging friends and was planning to do so again next month but obviously that will not happen yet.
        I actually can’t imagine my life now without my internet buddies😍

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s right, you’ve got your little gang 😛 I have met other bloggers too because it seems like everyone comes through Thailand. It’s great fun.

        Like

  5. I also learned about gratitude during a shitty time in my life. Being grateful is life riding a bike — I go long periods not doing it but I always feel great when I remember it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such a helpful post. Most people don’t think that being grateful or happy is a choice. It’s hard to do it when they’re in the middle of a storm, a shitty situation as you would say. But you live and you grow. I enjoyed the book list, I’ve been eyeing the Outliers for a while but still have other books to finish.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Is it read by him? I like listening to audiobook while reading the book. Is it weird lol? I like to have someone read to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. A pleasant surprise to see my name on there! (And I agree on the clearer skin lol.) Thanks for sharing, Lani, and hope it helps more people feel grateful in a real way.

    And thanks for reccing the book by Dan Harris. It’s one of those things that’s been on my list for ages since I first heard him on a podcast and you’re reminding me to get around to it. Have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been ruminating about this too and about the link to finding delight which I talk about this month in my post. As you say one of the big realizations was that it was an activity that needed to be done not something that naturally just popped up in my life like Disney singing birds. And at times it also feels like a chore or something useless until I remind myself how necessary it is for me to do it. I make a point to write down one thing each day that has delighted me and think about one thing when I wake up and a second thing before bed for which I am grateful. I’ll end this by saying your friendship is a thing of delight and gratitude. 😌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice habits! The good news for those who don’t practice it is once you link it up with something you already do (go to bed and wake up :P) then it’s easy!

      Thanks, my friend, right back at you, xxoo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. thanks for this gentle reminder Lani! its so important to practice gratitude and i myself havent been doing much of it at all. =( if i fail to see it, then i wont be able to recognize it more and more. so i’ll start by saying i’m thankful i found your blog and that God can create friendships despite distance. i am thankful i read your book because it taught me a lot about education and teaching.. and now that i have a toddler maybe it will make more sense if i reread it. =)

    Like

  10. I have always struggled with this. I’ve been listening to tarot card readings lately online and just yesterday there was one about staying in the present and getting out of the past. This has been resonating with me and now reading this makes me realize I need more of this reminder in my life. We have been silently praying at meal times and this has been a great way to realize the importance of recognizing what there is to be grateful for. I love this reminder and the ideas too! Thanks Lani! ~Anne

    Liked by 1 person

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