Living and loving with a whole heart means practicing gratitude–often. The easiest way for me to express–and recognize–gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. Spending time truly thinking about all that I have to be grateful for and writing it down is so meaningful to me. When I journal about what I have to be grateful for, I compare less, compete less, and find more contentment.
Another way to practice gratitude is to make a habit of thinking of one thing I am grateful for every day. Some days, this can be difficult. Finding one thing to be thankful for often looks like recognizing that I am blessed by: a husband who selflessly loves me every day, my family near and far, friendships old and new, a roof over my head, food on the table, a job to pay the bills, and students whose lives I have the privilege of making a difference in each day.
Practicing gratitude is difficult for me when I am in the middle of discontentment or comparison. When I feel like I am not measuring up. When I focus on my failures and shortcomings. But that is usually when I need gratitude the most. It takes a lot of discipline to be grateful in the moments of mess. When I start to compare myself to a friend, for example, I tend to feel like crap about myself. She has her life together and I do not. If I stop and think of something to be grateful for in that moment of comparison, I can usually snap back to reality and have a healthy perspective. In this moment, I am grateful for the gift of life. May I steward it well.
What is the most meaningful way for you to practice gratitude?
Love, Ali xo
I'm Ali. I write about my journey of living a full and healthy life with food allergies, overcoming the comparison trap, and cultivating authenticity.