I read an article this week called “Choose To Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier” and I really loved its message.
A lot of times, gratefulness and thankfulness aren’t our overarching emotions. We are tired, stressed, disappointed. There are some people whose jobs are overwhelming, whose family problems or money struggles seem insurmountable much of the time. But maybe it’s these people who can benefit the most from the ability to take a second to cultivate gratitude – to find something to be positive about, to smile about.
Of course, it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, so the world is all mushy and gushy and grateful and thankful. And I’m all about that kind of stuff. But the article challenges us to also be grateful for “useless” things.
I am beyond grateful that so many important parts of my life are well and good –my family, my friends, my job, my apartment, my health. But what about those tiny things that I don’t appreciate on a daily basis?
10 "Useless" Things I'm Grateful For
1) Sunsets that turn the sky pink and purple and red and change by the second. You take a picture of the sky and when you look back up from your phone, it’s already completely different.
2) A perfect, green lawn. A quad at a college that’s rumored to be spray painted because it’s so flawlessly green.
3) The warm, melty, sugary, sweetness on your tongue when you take a sip of hot chocolate after drinking coffee – the contrast makes me wonder why I don’t drink hot chocolate every day.
4) When you laugh so hard your stomach hurts, when you smile so big your cheeks hurt and your eyes go all squinty.
5) A warm shower after a cold yet sweaty run.
6) Songs that transport you back to a different time and make memories so vivid. When I hear “Starships” I will always go back to Senior Week at Quinnipiac. When I hear “What A Wonderful World” I will be dancing with my dad. Scratchy beard against my cheek.
7) The feeling when everything on a run clicks – you’re going fast but it feels like you’re floating.
8) Walking into your childhood home and feeling like you never left, no matter how long it’s been.
9) A book that you seriously can’t put down. The characters are real and you need to know what happens.
10) Perfect, bright lighting that makes your plate of food look like a work of art.
In “Choose to Be Grateful” the author does mention that there may be a downside to all of this “feeling thankful” – it makes you crave sugar. Which I guess would explain the large quantity of vanilla almond granola I just consumed.
Anyway – next time you’re feeling less than thankful - that’s the time to realize all the amazing things we have to smile about.
I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving, eat a ton of delicious food, and most importantly – make an epic leftover sandwich.