A number of years ago, when my kids were still very small, we lived in an area with brutal winters. That meant sub-freezing temperatures for weeks at a time. Money was tight so we had to keep the thermostat in the 50s overnight and in the low 60s during the day. To make matters worse, our bedroom was in a part of the house that the radiator pipes wouldn’t warm properly, so it was always cold there at that time of the year.
And by “cold” I mean, the bedsheets would be literally frigid when it was time for bed. So much so, that my joints would ache and I’d be miserable until my body heat could warm them up.
This continued for a year or two until I found an electric mattress pad. The first night that I crawled under the sheets with the heat turned on, I thought I’d won the lottery.
There were so many negative parts to the years we lived there, but going to bed with warmed sheets overwhelmed me with gratitude for the simple pleasure of removing the pain of the cold.
The reason that I’m telling you this is that it’s so obvious to be grateful for the stark changes in our situation. It’s a no-brainer.
But there is no need to wait for something like that. There are simple things that we take for granted that it would be so easy to be grateful for.
Turn your attention to little pleasures and acknowledge their importance in your life. Take some time to sit and bring them to your awareness. Feel into how they lighten your existence. Maybe thinking about them makes you smile. Or maybe the fact that something is simply working properly can be enough to help us realize how fortunate we are to have it at all.
Whatever it is, open up and invite gratitude in.
Those of us who have recently gotten a cancer diagnosis may feel a touch bitter about this concept. Understandably, it may be easier to be grateful when you’re not dealing with a serious disease. And no one would blame you for having a hard time generating a mood of gratitude.
But perhaps that’s exactly when you should look for things that elicit a sense of gratefulness, no matter how small. It may be one of the most important things you can do to maintain a sense of well-being in a difficult time.