There are two practices that solve nearly all my problems and because today is in fact Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate to focus on one: Gratitude. The other is being in the present moment, and without going into that too much, I think you’ll see how one compliments the other for me.
Obviously the concept of gratitude isn’t a new one to me, but it has taken on a whole new level of importance in my life this past year. I have to thank my wife for really introducing this practice into my day-to-day and making it something that I do, not only daily, but especially when I’m struggling throughout the day. When I’m disappointed, fearful, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed—you name it—I simply have to take a breath and refocus on what I’m thankful for. It can be people in my life, circumstances, and even things—but not long after I start thinking about what I’m thankful for, my entire mood and outlook changes.
By focusing on what I’m thankful for I also begin to move from being disappointed, regretting things that are in the past, or fears of the future, and into the present moment. I begin to notice what and who are here and now, and everything else just fades. The simple act of practicing gratitude completely transforms me and it’s not something special I have to wait a year for. By remembering to be thankful throughout each day and practicing gratitude continuously, I literally change my life in small but significant increments.