Things You May Be Forgetting to Appreciate

This is a wonderful day. I have never seen this one before.  ~ Maya Angelou

Studies have shown again and again that daily doses of gratitude help us in so many ways.  Appreciation for the life you have is powerful. It can build up your immunity, make your blood pressure go down, lower the stress in your life, and just make you happier.  In uncertain and turbulent times such as these, finding gratitude can prove to be even more valuable to your well-being. Consider the following….

You are as healthy as you are right now. 

We may not all feel like we did as teenagers (bravo if you do), but one thing is for certain…one must never underestimate the gift of good health.  Without it, it’s hard to focus on anything else. Good health is the greatest wealth you’ll ever own.  It sets the stage for the success and happiness life has to offer.  Being in good health is often taken for granted until the day that it’s gone. Stay grateful for your good health by maintaining it. 

You have your family…whatever that means to you. 

Your family may be blood relatives or a family made up of friends you’ve chosen over the years. Whoever your people are, nothing can replace them. Your brothers and sisters, your parents and grandparents, your children and all your chosen family have played an important part in shaping who you are now. The best of them have been through the best of times and the worst of times with you.  The bond you have is there forever. Make sure to do your part to stay in touch and let them know how much you appreciate them!

You have food.

Always be thankful you have food to eat, food in your cupboards, food in your freezer, and a nourishing daily meal. There are so many people who are hungry. An estimated 48.8 million Americans, including 16.2 million children, live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. These numbers might have the power not only to give you a spirit of gratitude for what you have, but also to encourage you to offer assistance to some of those who don’t have what they need.

You have clean water.

Water is life. Be thankful every day for clean, drinkable water. Water to drink, to shower in, to wash clothes in and to bathe your children in.  Clean, safe water is only a dream for nearly 783 million people, and proper sanitation suffers as a result. Most of us grew up with clean, safe water and never even realized how lucky we were. 

You have a place to live.

If you’re very fortunate, you have a warm, safe place to live. A place of respite where you can escape from the world. Whether that means a big house, a place filled with roommates, or a one-room apartment, a room of one’s own is a special space, indeed.  Having four walls and a ceiling above you is not to be taken for granted. 

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of those depths. 

~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Everything that’s happened in your life has led you to this moment.

Life isn’t all about moments of great triumph and success. It’s also about the lessons you learn though pain and disappointment, through missteps and redemption.  It’s about the trials and errors that get you there. The small, unobserved things you do every day.  It all makes a difference in the end…every choice, every regret, every road not taken, and every hardship. It all strengthens you, enhances your sense of compassion and empathy.  It makes you humble.  Be proud of all you have overcome to be the person you are right now.  

When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The reward of now

In between all your aspirations, priorities, obligations, and anything else that might appear on your “to-do” list, there is life happening right now! Sometimes it seems hard to remain present for all that’s happening around you…but try, every day, to look around and be in the moments of your life. Try not to wish your time away or long for something that is long gone. It may be a habit you have to practice to perfect…but keep at it. Stay thankful for the opportunities to make positive changes in your life. 

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