Overnight our lives completely changed. Many have had to adjust to working from home, trying to carve out a space where they can concentrate or have an uninterrupted meeting. Parents became teachers, struggling through a new method of online learning, while trying to engage their children who are bored and miss their school and their friends. Now they worry that the schools will reopen before it is safe and are terrified for their children’s safety. Tens of thousands have lost their jobs and are suffering financial hardship. Many are alone and depressed without much social interaction. And all of us are growing weary with the restrictions on our movement. We yearn for the time that we can be with friends and family, engaging in celebrations, concerts, sports events. All the things that bring us joy and nurture our souls. All this change is stressful, and can produce feelings of anxiety, depression, or a deep sense of dread and fear about the future.
An easy and efficient way to find peace amidst the turmoil is by adopting a daily practice of gratitude. Focusing on the good things in our lives will shift your awareness and attention away from difficulties and toward the blessings that you still enjoy. Begin by making a list of twenty things that bring joy to your heart or a smile to your face. Start simple. Grateful for the sound of birds chirping while sipping coffee in the morning? Grateful when the sun is shining? Love the feel of wind on your face? Write it down. Do you smile with the sound of a child’s laughter? Do you savor the smell of freshly baked bread? Write it down. Fairly quickly into the process you may realize there are a multitude of simple, natural things for which to be grateful. Honoring the simple things will lead to a consciousness of bigger things that bring comfort and joy.
An important thing to remember about gratitude is that the practice must be done in the present. Gratitude is not about the past, nor concerned with the future. Gratitude is about being in the here and now, living and appreciating each simple joy as it comes. Beginning a practice of gratitude will change your perspective from lack and limitation to abundance and expansion.