You open your eyes to the new day. Maybe you’re still tired from yesterday and didn’t get enough sleep last night. You might be excited for an event or opportunity that will come your way in the next few hours. Perhaps you wish you could pull the covers over your head and avoid another day of drudgery on the job.
Wait! You have a choice. From the moment you first open your eyes you can choose to have a thankful day or an ordinary day. There’s no set formula to ensure a day of thanks-living, but I can offer you some tried and true methods that work for me.
- Let the first thought that runs through your head or lands on your lips be a word of thanks that you are alive and have the opportunity to live another day on this earth. A simple “Thank you for life” will do nicely, but feel free to take more time and elaborate on the reasons you are thankful.
- Begin your day gently with some stretching or yoga and prayer or meditation. Take time to let your body wake up and feel the thankfulness.
- Drink a glass of water. Give thanks that you have ready access to clean, fresh drinking water.
- If you enjoy tea or coffee, take the time to savor one cup–if possible with a loved one or friend. Share at least one thing with each other for which you are grateful.
- Eat a simple, healthy breakfast. Try some oatmeal and fruit, whole grain bread and cheese, yogurt, eggs, and/or nuts depending on your style of eating. Fueling your body properly is critical. Avoid choking down food while commuting, and resist the urge to fill up with fast but unhealthy food at the drive-thru. Both your body and bank account will thank you.
- Plan to tell one person why you are thankful for them today. Of course, you can choose to tell more people what you appreciate about them or their actions. The more you give thanks and express gratitude, the more thankful and gracious you will become.
- Choose to look for the good in every person, place, thing, or event. The easiest thing is to look at the inconveniences and problems; remember, however, that every problem presents another opportunity, and every negative has a positive spin if you look hard enough for it.
If you’re breathing and can move, you have much for which to be thankful. If you have food to eat, work to do, and people you love, you are indeed blessed. Count your blessings and start each day with thanks. It makes all the difference.
Photo by Kansas Poetry used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!