Did you ever notice that when you think about things on your ‘to do” list your body responds by tensing in preparation? There is a sight clench of the jaw, usually. Stiffening of the shoulders, a shortening of the breath. When you think about things you are grateful for, your body eases and relaxes. Shoulders release away from the ears and there may even be the hint of a smile on your face as your breath moves more freely.
Even difficult situations can provide opportunities for gratitude. Challenges can strip away the self we think we are and force us to go deeper inside, to reevaluate who we thought we were. Tough situations can teach us about things like surrender and tolerance, perseverance and creativity, compassion and forgiveness, pushing us to explore parts of ourselves we didn’t even know we had. We can appreciate that which teaches us to grow, so include those lessons in your three daily gratitudes.