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Gratitude Matters

Gilles Gagnon

There is, I believe, a guaranteed method by which you can easily and quickly bring about the feeling of happiness.  It has been said that it is impossible to feel unhappy when one is feeling grateful.  Harness the energy of gratitude and you will automatically begin to lift your spirits. It is the easiest method I know of, which can so effortlessly and readily put you in an energized, peaceful, joyful state of being.

What is gratitude? Simply stated, it is being aware and thankful for what one has.  The key is to remain focused on what one has, not on what is missing.  I present to you an exercises which will help you attain a deep feeling of gratitude and therefore peace, contentment, joy and happiness.

Exercise 1: The Gratitude List
This is a challenge as well as an exercise. This exercise consists of making a list of a total of 230 “things/items” for which you are grateful for.  You do this for one month.  230 may seem like a large number at the onset but as you begin your list, you’ll gain momentum and at the end of 30 days, your list will be complete.

For the first week (7 days), each day, write in your journal or on a notepad 10 things you are grateful for.  For the following 20 days, identify and record 5 items per day.  That’s it!  It’s very important to include the obvious on your list.  To give you an idea, here are some entries found on my personal list:

I am grateful for:

  • having eyes to see the beauty around me
  • having a beautiful, comfortable home
  • having someone special to love
  • having “today” as a gift
  • having water to drink
  • my good friend Roger
  • living in this fantastic country, Canada
  • the ability to hear
  • having clothes
  • the sun which warms our planet
  • rain which helps the crops grow
  • farmers who harvest food
  • on an on... you get the idea

This exercise has a more powerful impact if each day, you reread your list before adding to it.

You can include items from the past as well, such as, “I am grateful for having lived in Bermuda” or “I am grateful for having recovered from the flu last month” .  Once complete, your list can be used over and over again whenever you need to refocus on all the reasons for which you should be grateful.

Of course, items may be removed from the list if they no longer apply and new ones can always be added.

Have fun with it and here’s to gratitude!

Gilles Gagnon

Gilles Gagnon is a Canadian living in Toronto. He created and maintains the website The Wisdom Speakers.