In a year that has been filled with unpredictable health, financial, and societal challenges it can feel difficult to throw on a cloak of gratitude.
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful, and a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. In a world that feels especially tumultuous right now, that sounds pretty great—but what can it look like to shift toward of posture of gratitude?
1. Pause. While life for many is a bit slower than it was pre-Covid, we still live in a world that values busyness. Take a moment to pause.
2. Breath in. Breath deeply so the air fills your lungs. Hold your breath a moment, or don't—whatever feels good to you.
3. Be present. Feel your lungs fill with air, again. Feel your body. Is your chair comfortable? Can you feel your toes on the hardwood floor? Are the birds singing outside your window? What feels nice in this moment?
4. Exhale. Think of the people and places in your life. Who do you cross paths with each day? Children? Friends? The kind checker at the grocery, or the receptionist at the doctor whose eyes crinkle above her mask as she smiles at you? What space do you have access to that feels life-giving to you?
5. Connect. We are built for connection—with ourselves and each other. It is so much easier to practice gratitude when we don't feel isolated.
Practical Products that Help Inspire Gratitude
If you want to add daily intentionality to your gratitude practice, Whimsicals Paperie has two products perfect for that:
This set contains 30 beautifully simple cards to bring thoughtfulness and gratitude into your daily life. Each card contains a quote relating to gratitude and a question to ponder. Send it as a gift, keep it rotating on your desk at work, use it at your family dinner table, or pull it out once a year as a Thanksgiving Advent Calendar. This card deck was specially designed to be appropriate for all ages, young to old, and makes for great conversation starters with the people you love.
This is a beautiful daily gratitude journal to record something you are thankful for each day over the course of a year. One line per day allows you to journal without feeling the need or pressure to fill pages each day, and every page spread features original colored pencil and watercolor illustrations, and classic public domain quotations by such people as Lewis Carroll, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Gratitude truly is a practice-- a journey. We don't master it, but when we find a posture bent toward kindness and being thankful, a space is created for a more beautiful connection with ourselves and those around us, and that makes the world a more beautiful place.