Life changed amazingly when gratitude increasingly became my default thinking, feeling, and behaving.
While I am still growing in this area, I am more often grateful today than I was months ago and years ago.
One small but powerful strategy I picked up to help implement gratitude into my thinking, particularly in the morning, is to with each step, say “thank”, then “you”. Left foot – thank. Right foot – you. Sounds silly at first. But think about it. Most of us have two feet and walk daily. So there are tremendous opportunities for us to use this as a reminder at any time of the day.
The suggestion as it was made to me was to first thing in the morning, when the first of my two feet hit the floor out of bed, say “thank”. Then when the second foot hit the floor, say “you”. This way, I have a physical reminder to start my day with gratitude.
I began then making sure that as I walked to the coffee pot which had automatically brewed just before I got up, I would say with each step, “thank, you, thank, you”. I then took the suggestion further, by not only speaking the words, but actually finding things to be grateful for then feeling the feelings of gratitude and letting them sink deep into my heart. Not just say, but actually feel gratitude.
I found so many things to be grateful for. Starting with a home to walk through, a wife to wake up beside, a coffee pot to welcome me with the smell of fresh brewed morning coffee. A warm shower, a vehicle in the driveway, a job to go to, my health to let me work.
It is widely recognized that few, if any, of us can think of more than one thing at a time. I know I can’t. So if my mind is full of gratitude, I simply cannot think of negative things. They are mutually exclusive.
There was a time in my life when for years, every morning began with thoughts of suicide. It isn’t that way any more. Gratitude nudges those thoughts out. And if I feel any negativity creeping up, I just start walking and focusing on what I am grateful for. Left/right/left/right thank/you/thank/you. That simple.
Sounds almost too simple. But it works.