By Leo Babauta
What is the thing youâ€™re struggling with right now?
Stress, anxiety, frustration, loneliness, boredom, distraction, anger, tiredness?
The little habit of gratitude can help with all of these, and more. It helps make any habit a better experience, and more likely to last. It helps make each moment of life better.
Letâ€™s try a quick example:
Right now Iâ€™m jet lagged and a bit stressed out from travel and being out of my country. I can focus on the difficulties and confusion Iâ€™m facing, and be a bit dissatisfied with whatâ€™s going on with me right now, even disappointed in myself for struggling so much, not being better.
Or I can take a moment for gratitude and ask myself what I have to be grateful for right now. Some answers (these are my real answers): Iâ€™m happy to be with my 19-year-old son Justin in Asia, about to explore the streets of Hong Kong for the first time, spending time with him and making a deeper connection. Iâ€™m happy that Iâ€™m in a beautiful coffee shop with a good soy latte and some delicious vegetables being cooked for my breakfast. Iâ€™m grateful to have people in my life who love me, work that I truly enjoy, readers who are so generous with me, my health (!!!), and the opportunity to be alive in this incredible time in history.
This is a fantastic life, and stopping to appreciate that on a regular basis helps me to not miss out on life.
Thatâ€™s what the gratitude habit can do.
Thatâ€™s not to say itâ€™s helpful to ignore all the difficulties in life, to not think about them, to say that itâ€™s illegitimate to think about them. Itâ€™s totally OK to feel these things, and letting them sit in your body for a little while as you practice compassion is a helpful practice. But gratitude is a good companion practice, that helps you to expand your awareness from a narrow focus on what sucks to a wider focus that shows you there’s more than what’s sucking.
The Gratitude Habit
If you’d like to bring more gratitude in your life, or refocus yourself on gratitude, how can you turn that into a habit?
What we’re going to work on in the coming month is a small daily habit. It won’t instantly transform you into a gratitude machine, but will just instill a daily habit of being grateful. This is the foundation for a life filled with more gratitude.
I’ll share more details on this daily habit, but just note for now that it will be a small daily habit.
Also … I’ve created this video as an introduction to this module. Please watch below, or download here to watch on your computer/device.