Thursday, August 12, 2010
The Small Stuff
It's natural to be thankful for the big things in life: a new job, a financial windfall, the birth of a child, the end of a war. However, many of the small positives in daily life go unnoticed.
A few years ago there was a book titled, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff--and it's all small stuff" by Richard Carlson. Carlson's book was filled with practical advice for reducing stress and increasing happiness (there are 100 suggested ideas in the book). One chapter is titled, "Be Grateful When You're Feeling Good and Grateful When You're Feeling Bad."
In other words, don't allow the "small stuff" to undermine your gratitude for the little gifts of everyday life. For example, this summer has set records for heat and humidity in Connecticut. Being outside, and especially exercising, in this sticky tropical air is less than pleasant. At times, I've allowed the unpleasant weather to negatively affect my attitude.
The weather is only one of the little things that can affect gratitude. But, if we can find reasons for gratitude in all circumstances, life would go so much better. The good news is that there are always reasons to be grateful. Rather than cursing the weather, I need to be thankful that I have the ability to exercise and that my sweat glands are working.
There are so many "small" things in life to be grateful for: water, air, food, sleep, clothes, books, coffee, shoes, and so much more. Making a list of things we're grateful for can shake us out of the malaise of ingratitude and help us see daily life for the gift that it truly is.