Grateful Choices

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Being grateful is a choice. It is a conscious choice that you can make in every moment of every day. Most people are too consumed with negative thoughts and beliefs that are automatic to find room for being grateful. That is where the choice part comes in.

Waking up every morning and making a conscious choice to be grateful with your first thoughts. Grateful to wake up. Grateful to be alive. Grateful to open your eyes. Grateful to see, feel, hear, smell. If you cannot see, can you hear? If you cannot hear, can you feel? Even if you have things going on that are not completely “normal” there are still things you can choose to be grateful for.

If you become aware, truly aware of what you are able to experience every day, you will find things to be grateful for. But it does require awareness and pushing the negative away so that the grateful things have a space at the table in your mind. It is so much easier to stick with the negative it is already there in your mind. It is ingrained. It is conditioned. It is automatic. Being grateful can become ingrained, conditioned, automatic but you have to work at it.

Every single thing that you do, see, hear, feel, taste, smell can be a point of gratitude. Do you realize that if you did that for each of these things in just one day, one hour, one minute how much joy and gratitude you would be able to experience? On a slow day, tens or hundreds of things. On a busy day, thousands or millions of things. Millions of points of gratitude. Just think about it.

If you spend only a miniscule part of your day choosing to be grateful instead of letting negative automatic thoughts and beliefs run the show, you can have a huge impact on your brain and your life. But what if you did it for the bulk of your day? Imagine the effect on your brain, your levels of serotonin and dopamine, and on your life.

What can you be grateful for right now? In this moment what can you choose to be grateful for? I will do my moment right now. I am grateful for my ability to type and compose blogs. I am grateful for my warm fuzzy cover. I am grateful for my laptop. I am grateful for my laptop pillow. I am grateful for fiber internet and streaming sports. I am grateful for coffee. I am grateful for the beautiful sunshine and fall leaves outside. I am grateful for a full night’s sleep last night.

I could keep going because if I stop and think about it, become aware of it, there are an endless amount of things I could be grateful for in a single moment in time. If you stop and think about it, be aware of it, you too would probably have an enormous list in just a moment’s time. Imagine what it would be like to have it for all of the 86,400 seconds in a single day. That is a lot of gratitude.

Start today, right now, what do you choose to be grateful for and keep it going.

Until next time be well,


Thankful Moments


November, the month of Thanksgiving, in the United States. As with many other things in society, it has morphed into Thankful November where people record everything they re thankful for over the month sharing and posting and generally participating in being grateful. For a month. After this though, many people move away from thankfulness on a daily basis. It’s a temporary state of being rather than a changed way of living. It looks good on Instagram and Facebook, but it’s a once a day post generally about something big and then for the next 24 hours after it’s not a thought.

There are many books on the practice of daily gratitude. The words “daily gratitude” imply that the practice should be undertaken on a once a day basis like a multivitamin. I agree that incorporating any time daily on being thankful can be beneficial and can form a habit of daily gratitude if done repetitively. It can be incorporated into a daily meditation practice or other daily routine where it can be repetitively done. Even once a day is better than not at all.

What if we did it more than once a day? What if we did it about everything and not just the big things? What if we did it every day of our lives and not just a month out of the year? Change of thought processes, emotions, and habits is done by repetition and reinforcement. If we incorporate thankfulness into every moment of our lives then gratitude thoughts, emotions, and habits become automatic.

You can be thankful for anything and everything. It is easy to be thankful for big things – family, home, job, food, etc. It is fairly easy to be thankful for somewhat smaller things – favorite foods, video games, books, etc. It is somewhat harder to remember to be thankful for much smaller things – coffee, paper, ink pens, candles, slippers, etc. It is very hard to be thankful for things that are not good. Remember thankful in every moment means just that every moment – no matter what is happening or what the experience is. To be thankful that you are there to experience it, learn from it, grow from it, change from it, enjoy it, love it – every single thing in every single moment.

It is Thankful November and it is a good time to start or expand your thankfulness practice with the goal of continuing it, growing it, living it moment to moment. Speak it out, write it out, think it out – put your gratitude out into the universe for every moment and watch what comes back to you and how you change you thoughts, emotions, and habits as a result.

Until next time,

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Be Grateful

Zig Ziglar is credited with saying: “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions.” And he is so right. Of all the emotions we can experience pure gratitude is one that boosts our “feel good” chemicals, increases joy, makes us more mindful, and attracts or brings more good things to our lives. Gratitude costs nothing outside of our effort to be thankful.

Practicing gratitude is like all other things we practice and make habits in our lives. If done daily, even as little as once a day, it can become a habit in as little as 30 days. To do it more than once a day allows us to fully be aware of all the things that we have, that we are thankful for, that are bringing good to our lives. Being focused on these things instead of the things we don’t have, or the things we wish weren’t in our lives, or the things that don’t bring good things to our lives frees us to embrace happiness and joy.

There are many ways to practice gratitude. Mental gratitude – being thankful just in your mind, thinking about the things we are grateful for. Spoken gratitude – speaking out the things we are grateful for. Written gratitude – writing down the things we are thankful for. A combination of gratitude exercises can increase the habit of being grateful daily.

I have been talking about writing as emotional transference quite a bit in sessions recently. Writing can also be very helpful in being grateful to reinforce your gratitude and the habit of being thankful. There are many, many options for gratitude journals online. You can also just as easily use any kind of paper for a journal. You can use a guided or prompting journal that gives you specific things to be grateful for on that date or you can just write about anything you want. There are also many apps that allow you to have gratitude daily. I use the Gratitude Journal – Private diary & affirmations on my phone to keep a daily record of my gratitude. But I also incorporate mental and spoken forms of gratitude during the day and during meditation.

It doesn’t matter what you are grateful for. It can be something big like family, a home, a job, or health or something seemingly insignificant like coffee, a pen, paper, or ink. It is not what you are grateful for that matters it is that you practice BEING grateful every day to increase your own happiness and joy. If you have more on the grateful side of things, you will find that more joy, more happiness, and more things to be grateful for come your way.

Until next time,

The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day | Original Creator of The Five Minute Journal – Simple Daily Guided Format – Increase Gratitude & Happiness, Life Planner, Gratitude List

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