Have you ever had a crazy stressful day when nothing seems to go right? You wake up 10 minutes late, it’s pouring down rain, you spill coffee on your favorite shirt, your gas tank is empty, and you can’t find your umbrella. It seems as if the more you rush and stress out, the more stuff seems to happen to make you rush and stress out. It’s a vicious cycle. Nothing is good; nothing is right; and nothing is going to be good or right for the entire day.
While grumbling to a friend on a day like this, she said “God gave you 86,400 seconds in a day. Are you going to spend every second being stressed? Have you used even one second today to say thank you?” This statement stopped me in my tracks and reminded me that I really do have plenty to be grateful for! Every breath I take, each new day, my warm bed, nice clothes, a job I love, and food on the table are all gifts. Not everyone is able to enjoy these things. And it truly only takes one second to say “Thank you.”
When we are grateful for little things, our attitude improves and we create a cycle of abundance. When things are not going our way, we can grumble and complain or we can take a deep breath, feel grateful, and give thanks. Saying thank you is not just good manners, it’s good for our souls.
In Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne wrote “Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.” What better time than during the busy holiday season to try a gratitude experiment and make a list every day which focuses on the pluses in our lives instead of the minuses? We might just notice an inner shift and be surprised at how content and hopeful we suddenly feel when we take just one second to quietly pause and say “Thank you.”