Gratitude – Does It Make You Less Stressed?

Today, I have a lot to be grateful for. Today is my daughters 5th birthday.
5 years old. Wow. Where has the time gone?

I would bet that most (read all) parents have pondered this almighty question at one point or another and the reality is, in amongst the brain fog, sleepless nights, bottle feeds, potty training, tantrums, hugs, kisses and tears, the clock just keeps on ticking. Relentlessly.

As a wise elder lemon used to say to me about becoming a parent – the days are long but the years are short. Very true words.

I took some time today to reflect on the last 5 years and to mark this major milestone in our parenting lives. As part of the reflection, I became incredibly grateful (to God, to my higher self, to the powers above) for all the good fortune I have experienced in the last few years. I have chosen to look at the tough times in the last few years as opportunities to grow, to learn and to experience – so they don’t actually seem that bad to me anymore.

The feeling of being grateful is a wonderful one. It fills me up in a way like no other. It is respectful and humble, appreciative and warming. It makes me feel good to focus my attention on the most obvious things – my daughter is healthy, she feels loved and secure, is happy at school, has some friends and great parents (slightly biased). She has food on the table, clothes on her back and a roof over her head. Everything else can drop away and she would still be happy.

If we focus on them, we all have people and things in our lives that we could be more mindful of and grateful for.

Here’s to paying more daily attention to the small, obvious and often overlooked things in life and living more deliberately.

Yours in health and happiness,

JP

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