How gratitude can change your day in 5 minutes
You wake up, hit the snooze button, and doze back off to sleep. 8 minutes later you’re startled awake with the alarm going off again and you’re cursing that you haven’t had enough sleep and you don’t want to get up for work.
You rush to make breakfast, forgetting to boil the water in the kettle and pour cold water into your coffee cup. You’re running late and don’t even have time for breakfast now.
You kick your toe on shower screen as you hurriedly get ready for work.
You get in your car only to realise you forgot to fill up fuel yesterday and the little orange light on your dash reminds you that you may not make it to work without the help of roadside assistance.
You hit gridlock traffic and curse as you weave through the traffic, hoping to get that little bit ahead of everyone else to slide into your office on time without anyone realised you’re late.
You get to work and the all-too-familiar glare of ‘oh, you’re finally here’ from your boss greets you as you settle into your work.
It’s not even 8am and you’re tired, you’re hungry, you’re stressed. Every day you tell yourself ‘I’ve had enough of this’, yet here you are, same old funk, different day.
Sound familiar? Unfortunately, this is the day-in-day-out rut some of us get ourselves into. And believe me, I know it all too well. In fact, I am writing about it because it was my life! I’ve been there, done that, got the fridge magnet and I admit, it wasn’t fun. There was always something to complain about. And complaining was so easy. Blaming everything and everyone else around me was so easy. But taking responsibility for my life, time-management skills (or lack thereof), and the direction of my day took some work and repetition, but I worked out how I could change my day for the better, every single day.
I decided to go a day where I would find the good in everything that seemed to go wrong. Even if things weren’t going wrong, I still found something to be thankful for.
Rewind to how my day usually started, and admittedly, I still hit the snooze button, but instead of cursing at the time, I sat up and listed 3 things I was grateful for. It took 6 seconds…. Just 6 seconds to think about how truly blessed I am to wake up in a comfy bed with a roof over my head, that I had peaceful night’s sleep and that I had a reason to get up, and that was because I had a job to go to. Already, I felt a bit lighter and happier. It felt good, so I decided that I would be grateful for everything that day, no matter how big or small. After all, if it only took 6 seconds to list 3 things I was grateful for in that moment, doing this 50 times throughout the day was a mere 5 minutes in total of my day, and I was most definitely committed to giving 5 minutes of my time to feel good! So, once I got up out of bed, I popped on my unicorn slippers and headed to the kitchen for my morning coffee. I was grateful that I knew my best friend who lives 1700kms away was probably wearing her matching unicorn slippers around the same time too, as we get ready for work around the same time. I was grateful as I boiled the water in the kettle that I had clean drinking water, and my heart filled with warmth as I made my coffee in the mug that my children gave me that says ‘World’s Most Amazing Mum’. That lead to my heart filling with more warmth and gratitude for my beautiful, healthy children. I enjoyed a delicious smoothie for breakfast and took a few deep breaths as I breathed in love and gratitude for the nourishment my body was getting.
When I got in the shower I was grateful for the warm water that ran over my body, and when I got out of the shower to brush my teeth I was even grateful for my teeth! How lucky are we to have teeth?! Life would be incredibly hard without them, and probably a little bland with just soup, so in the moment I was grateful for my teeth!
As my day went on I still experienced some of my usual stuck-in-a-rut feelings (unfortunately being grateful doesn’t make the traffic magically disappear, however I was very grateful for the music I got to listen to and sing along to in the car!) Then I was grateful that I even had a car, it ran well and took me places.
Arriving at work, I took a deep breath in before opening the door. How lucky was I to have a job to go to, that supported my lifestyle, paid the bills and gave my days purpose.
Throughout the day I found so many things to be incredibly thankful for, and it snowballed…. I felt lighter, happier, and more heartful. When things felt like they weren’t going my way, I found the positive in it. I found something to feel blessed for.
The more I was grateful for, the more I realised how incredibly blessed truly am. I made sure I worked gratitude into my evening routine every night from then. The last thing I’d do before falling asleep is to think of all the things I was grateful for. My heart filled with love and I wanted to scream from the top of a mountain ‘I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR EVERYTHING’ because I truly am. It has changed my life, I feel happier, more heartful and even healthier. It reduced stress of the little things that would often bug me. They no longer worried me. I would often smile to myself when I thought of just the little things that all added up to a truly grateful life.