Gratitude leads to happiness. That’s not a novel thought I just came up with. Expressing gratitude is something I’ve struggled with for a while. At least the concept of having some sort of ‘gratitude practice.’
Just like with everything, I have an app for that. It’s called the 5-minute Journal. There is a physical version of it as well. The idea is to put down 3 things you are grateful for daily. The practice gets pretty repetitive pretty quickly. When you’re forced to think of things you start to run out of unique things to be grateful for.
Everything in life is pretty relative. It’s hard to be sincere about being grateful for having a roof over my head when I feel like I don’t think I’d ever find myself in a situation where that wouldn’t be the case.
I do know still that everything I have today could be easily taken away at any moment. I take a lot of things for granted but I never believe any of it is owed to me or it will be this way forever. I’m grateful for what I have. I have my own way of feeling and expressing it. I don’t feel like I’m getting the true benefits of a gratitude practice, however. And because of that, I seek different ways to experience gratitude.
A funny thing happened to me today at the gym. I found myself cursing my shoe (an inanimate object). I had done that thing where you pull the lace through the loop making. Not the one that snags but come loose — but the one you give an extra tug to making the knot even tighter. At the moment I was so annoyed. The lighting wasn’t the best and I found myself fighting the lace for more than a minute.
Facing extreme frustration I, fortunately, realized how lucky I am to even be able to see the lace to untangle the mess. Right then something triggered in me to take the opportunity to be thankful for the fact I could even see the lace to begin with. There are many people in this world that don’t have such a luxury.
Upon realizing how good I had it and how silly it was of me to allow my blood pressure to rise as a result of a silly knot, I took a moment, closed my eyes, and finished untangling the knot ‘blind.’ This simple exercise gave me something small and simple to be extremely grateful for — my vision. Something I take for granted every single day.
This may not be as elegant as expressing gratitude through a daily journal but I feel it works a lot better. I’ve learned to look for and be more mindful of events like this to help me realize how good I’ve got it.
It’s just a simple practice.