Written by Dusty Swehla, Co-Director of Trauma Supports
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~Robert Brault
As we prepare for the month of November and the Simply Grateful Challenge (which starts on November 1!), I have pondered the question, “What is gratitude”?
I remember as a child thinking… “I’m so grateful for candy, my friends, cartoons and gifts”.
That gradually transitioned to my teen years: “sleepovers, allowances, friends and roller skating”.
My twenties: “a big house, money, going out with friends, vacations”.
Thirties: “my family and vacation”.
At the present moment, I’m in my middle 40s and it is much simpler… I am grateful for the sunshine, the love of my boys, time spent with my family, nature, my health and a day that I get a really good belly laugh or two.
What does Gratitude Really Mean?
Gratitude can be the big things in our life, but it doesn’t have to be.
As I sit and write this, I can name off at least 50 things I’m grateful for. That hasn’t always been the case for me.
Early in my twenties, I thought that a big house, nice car, money and a certain status was going to make me happy. Come to find out, that is not the case. I tried to make it work, being grateful and happy for the country club membership, the big fancy house and the car I drove. My life was mostly about putting a smile on my face and trying to keep up with the neighbors.
After some lived experiences, time and failures (i.e. lessons), I have learned that many of the things that I was once grateful for were really just “things”.
Today, it is the “things” that I cannot buy that I am most grateful for.
I have learned that a grateful heart is a happy heart.
Now I’ll ask you the question, “What does gratitude mean to you”?
There is no right or wrong answer. It can be anything you choose.
As you think about this question more throughout the challenge and throughout your days, my goal for you is that you continue to have gratitude in your heart now and forever - Not just the month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving.
Benefits of Gratitude
Gratitude has shown to be proven to improve your overall quality of life.
Studies show that gratitude can improve sleep quality and emotional regulation as well as increase feelings of happiness and positive mood.
It can also foster hope for the future, and reduce stress and burnout.
This makes gratitude a simple and effective tool for our mental and physical health.
The Simply Grateful Challenge
The Simply Grateful Challenge starts on November 1. It's a 22-day challenge where I'll be guiding you through simple exercises designed to increase your overall attitude of gratitude.
It's an easy way for you to boost your gratitude muscle and connect with more peace and joy.
The best part? It's online and self-paced.
In the video below, I'll explain a little bit more about what you can expect from the Simply Grateful Challenge...
Try not to overthink the process.
Aim for consistently showing up, and gratitude will become a part of your day to day practice.
I’m grateful for you and your decision to bring gratitude into your life moving forward.
I look forward to guiding you through the Simply Grateful Challenge.
The Challenge is also available as a standalone purchase for $19.99.