I am grateful for the warm light that shines into my room, the warm blanket I'm under, the sweater I'm wearing, the guitar in the corner, the iPad I use to read books, Papermate Inkjoy pens, my health, my prayer bowl from Bhutan, the lesson behind the barn painting that hangs on my wall, the time I have to explore my interests, the freedom to do as I please, hot showers, the relative quiet in which I can feel settled, my clock radio that helps me wake up, my friends, the extra five pounds I've put on that remind me that I'm not dealing with my feelings head on, my blog, my hair, my zits because my oily skin keeps me young looking, singing, and all the wonderful people in my life.
A few of my favorite Jimmy Fallon thank you notes:
"Thank you airplane seat by the bathroom, for letting me pay $400 dollars to temporarily live next to an outhouse."
"Thank you, neighbor who pays for wifi and doesn't set up a wifi password, for also paying for my wifi."
"Thank you, self help books, for making me do all the work."
"Thank you, slow walking family walking in front of me on the sidewalk. No, please, take your time. And definitely spread out, too, so you create a barricade of idiots. I am so thankful that you forced me to walk on the street and risk getting hit by a car in order to pass you so I could resume walking at a normal human pace."
Thank you Jimmy Fallon!
"You can look the whole world over and never find anyone more deserving of love than yourself."
"Your task is not to search for love but to find a portal through which love can enter." ~ Eckhart Tolle
How? What portal? Gratitude. What are you grateful for?
Researchers from Eastern Washington University and Hofstra University in the Journal of Positive Psychology discovered that "people who simply wrote about death in a more abstract way didn’t feel any more grateful afterward; the people who just imagined a day in their life seemed very slightly less grateful. But the gratitude scores of people who actually visualized their own deaths skyrocketed. These people seemed deeply affected by confronting their own mortality 'in a vivid and specific way.'"
But this isn't advice that you should think about your death all the time. The researchers found that even just imagining something you value being taken away from you heightens your appreciation for that thing. In essence, you can get the same benefits by thinking of things for which you are grateful or said another way - keep a gratitude journal.