When I am grateful, my life feels balanced, and I feel energetic.

When I am grateful, I am able to acknowledge that life is more about giving than receiving, for when I am grateful I receive the blessing of more for which to be grateful.

From a young age, I was taught the value of gratitude.  My parents instilled in me the importance of please and thank you.  My faith instilled giving praise and thanksgiving in all things.  My training taught me that having a positive mental attitude leads to an attitude of gratitude.

Yes, gratitude is an important part of my life.

I’ll admit, there have been times when I have given thanks but not known why other than that is the way I live my life – giving thanks in all circumstances.  Shameless plug alert:  I talk about this candidly in my #1 bestselling book The Gift of Loss: Transforming Tragedy, which is available online here and at the Center.

Giving thanks in all things is not easy, especially when you are down or things seem bleak or out of your control.  We are all going through such a time right now.  Our world seems to be out of control as we try to figure out how to deal and cope with the current situation, and because of that you may be wondering how to give thanks during this time of uncertainty due to covid19.  You may ask if it is even possible to give thanks for everything that is happening in your life, your world.

The simple answer is absolutely!

You most certainly can give thanks every day in every way if you choose to do so.  The more difficult response is how and why you should do so.

Giving thanks is a fundamental response to the blessings you have in your life:  your family, your relationships, your health, your purpose…you get the picture.  But giving thanks in all circumstances takes intention and dedication.

Start with the easy things.

Look around you and take stock of what you have in your life.  Are you thankful for your family and relationships?  Say so!  Are you thankful for your home?  Say so!  Are you thankful for the clothes you wear, the food on your table and the creature comforts such as electricity, running water, air conditioning when it’s hot and heat when it’s cold?  Say so!  Each time you are with loved ones, let them know how you feel.  Each time you walk into your home, say “thank you” for being a roof over my head and a shelter from the elements.  Each time you get dressed, eat a meal or pay your utility bills, give a little thanks.  These are all life’s circumstances and deserve to have your gratitude.

Go a little deeper.

This takes a little more effort and it has to be intentional – it doesn’t just happen.  Look at your self-care practices and where you are on your wellness journey.  Is your life all you want it to be?  Are you managing stress or is stress managing you?  Is your digestive system functioning properly (and by that I mean eliminating 2-3 times per day)?  Is your immune function strong and well supported?

First of all, be grateful you have the opportunity to find the best self-care practices for you.  Be grateful that you have the tools at your disposal to find your best wellness journey.  Be grateful that you have a new beginning every single day to live the life you want and deserve.

Second, be thankful for the body you were given.  Be thankful that you have 11 systems that help you live a vibrant life when they are functioning the way they were designed to.  Be thankful that you have the opportunity to practice self-care in order to improve the function of your body without the use of drugs.  Be thankful that no matter where you are on your wellness journey, you can always change the things you want to.

Finally, be grateful there are options for and access to wellcare services to help you along your journey.  Maybe you can benefit from regular therapeutic massage.  Did you know massage is a necessity not just a nicety?  Maybe you can benefit from improving your digestive health?  Did you know colon hydrotherapy is an age-old practice that cleanses the colon naturally with water to help improve peristalsis?  Maybe you can benefit from chiropractic care.  Did you know that regular adjustments help improve the function of the whole person which can lead to longevity and vibrant living?  There are so many services available so be thankful they exist as you consider what is best for your journey.

Living in gratitude is a choice, a lifestyle really.

When you choose to be grateful in all things, you open yourself to so many possibilities.  When you incorporate gratitude into your self-care practices, your journey can take you in a direction that leads to vibrancy, joy and love.

Here’s a thought:  start a gratitude jar.  You’ll need a large jar (preferably with a lid), 3”x3” or 4”x4” squares of colorful paper, and a pen.  Each day find three things for which to be grateful and write them down on a piece of paper.  Fold the paper up and put it in the jar.  Every thirty days, open the jar and read all the things you were grateful for.  It’s a fun way to focus on being grateful in all things, and it’s a great way to build your attitude of gratitude.

Over the past four months, you may have been through a myriad of emotions.  Whatever you feel, whatever your viewpoint, be grateful.  Personally, I used the time to re-focus my self-care journey.  I realized again that self-care has to be intentional, and I am the only one who can make it happen in my life.  I have to make the choice every day to be the best version of me I can be, so I have re-committed to daily movement, gratitude and healthy food choices.

I also choose to keep negativity out of my consciousness and focus on what can be, the positive, instead.  How?  I spend time with my family and friends.  I spend time outside in nature.  I read things that uplift me rather than things that fill me with fear or doubt.  I give thanks in all things, and in giving thanks my positive vibrations naturally rise and keep the negativity at bay.

Your wellness journey is whatever you want it to be, so why not take a chance on yourself and be grateful in all circumstances?  I’d love to hear what you are grateful for, how you practice gratitude as part of your self-care journey.  Until next time, give thanks in all things and be well…