If we look, we can often see many gifts in our lives, even during the most challenging times.

Clients, family, friends, and many of us are facing significant challenges; from working at home while home-schooling children, to being laid off, to an increase in the spread of COVID-19, to navigating our own behavior and attitudinal changes around race and gender, to experiencing the death of a loved one, to dealing with uncertainty around health, income, politics, and the future of our planet.

These continue to be challenging times; so, while it may sound counterintuitive for us to suggest that you look closely for the gifts in your life, we believe it’s important for your well-being.

If we look closely at our moments for the things that we’re grateful for, we can truly change our experience of our lives and improve our health. The research on gratitude indicates:

  • Five minutes of journaling what you’re grateful for each day can increase your long-term well-being.  
  • Gratitude journaling can lead to a decrease in pain, better sleep, and even a decrease in blood pressure. 
  • Gratitude and a generosity of spirit make us nicer, more social, and more trustworthy to others, which is great for our relationships and for our own sense of who we are. 
  • And, as you might imagine looking at this list, gratitude supports physical resilience and emotional agility.  

Yes, these are some of the most challenging times and, yet, there are things to be grateful for everywhere you look.

There are big things, like having a home or deep family connections, and small things like having enough socks or noticing the last blossom before autumn rains begin. There are also complex things, like the fact that we live in a democracy, and simple things, like waking up warm and cozy this morning.

Gratitude is always available to us. Now, more than ever, amidst the current state of the world, we need to practice finding gratitude.

“Appreciate everything
Even the ordinary
Especially the ordinary”
~Pema Chödrön 

Take some time every day this week to reflect on and write down what you’re grateful for—big and small, complex and simple. We’ve included some questions below to help you get started:

  • How have you grown since we’ve been dealing with COVID-19?
  • What spot in your home brings you the most comfort?
  • What gifts have you noticed since working remotely?
  • What gifts have you found in continuing to work onsite?
  • Who are you grateful for in your life?
  • What are you proud of today?
  • What have you learned from other people’s experiences?
  • What can you do today to begin to create a life of contentment?

Gratitude is being present to the big and small moments in your life. It’s the wonder and awe of a beautiful sunset, appreciation for others, the poignancy of the sparkle in a child’s eye, the opportunity to learn something new, or the meme that popped in your inbox and made you laugh.

We know that practicing gratitude can be challenging when life is hard, but your health and well-being are so important, and practicing gratitude is good for both.

We are grateful for you!