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A Simple, Powerful Way to Cultivate Gratitude

Watermelon Heart

I recently read this great post by Lindsey Mead on her blog A Design So Vast. In it, she shares a list of things she loves. The small delicious details, such as the smell of laundry, Christmas carols, the words “luminous” and “ineffable” and the mail.

One of my favorite blogs on Psych Central is Today I Love by Kelly Babcock. Every day Babcock shares something different that he loves—everything from the criss-crossing light in his living room to people discussing books to the texture of the trees.

To me both of these are important examples of how we can practice gratitude, in a simple, thoughtful way. A way that lets us remember and recognize all the goodness that’s already inside our lives, especially when the world feels so confusing and overwhelming.

What do you love? What details bring you joy? What nourishes you mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually? What would you miss fiercely if it were suddenly gone? What usually makes your day? What restores your faith? What is the definition of fun for you? The definition of calm or contentment? The definition of magic?

Make a list of five things right now. (Or keep going, and make a long list. A very long list.) Make it a daily practice to list one thing you love. Aim to list a different thing every day—which might even surprise you.

Here are some of my loves:

  • cold watermelon
  • quotes so good you double-underline them and scribble your reaction in the margins
  • FaceTime
  • the smell of a cool, crisp morning
  • slipping into a bed with clean sheets
  • dreamy artwork
  • cheddar cheese
  • Christmas—and everything that comes with it, such as the music; movies (yes, even and especially the ones on Lifetime and Hallmark); the fresh tree and ornaments and lights and villages and snow globes and cookies. Definitely the cookies.
  • small bookstores filled with smelly, old books
  • big libraries you can easily get lost in
  • the rainbow colors of the sky
  • questions, lots and lots of questions
  • being so exhausted you fall right asleep
  • writing when it’s raining
  • any salad my mom makes
  • tulips and carnations
  • my hubby’s t-shirts and sweatshirts
  • candles that smell of apples or french vanilla or sugar cookies
  • interviews with authors, artists, anyone about their creative process
  • rabbits, squirrels, birds, turtles and deer in our backyard
  • my family

What do you love? I’d love to know. 🙂

Image credit: give_a_smile/Bigstockphoto.com
A Simple, Powerful Way to Cultivate Gratitude

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2016). A Simple, Powerful Way to Cultivate Gratitude. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 23, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2016/07/a-simple-powerful-way-to-cultivate-gratitude/


Last updated: 23 Jul 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Jul 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.