Get Happier: What Are You Grateful For?

Oh man! Let’s get corny.

Alexandra and I are big fans of gratitude exercises, so let’s take this opportunity to have one together, shall we?

I spend a decent amount of time thinking about what I’m grateful for; I do it almost every day. There are countless documented benefits of such practices, from reducing depression and anxiety to lowering blood pressure and improving your social bonds, according to brand new research. Also, it just feels good.

For this go-round, instead of thinking big-picture, I’m going to share 5 things I’m grateful for right this moment.

Please, when you’re done at the dinner table with your family or friends, share yours, too!

1. The “good morning” email I woke up to. It didn’t say much else, but it made me smile in my half-sleep. That’s a lovely way to wake up, and I’m grateful for that.

2. The guy who kept landing on my mat at yoga. You know those days when every stranger seems to have been placed in your path with the express purpose of irritating you? And yet you know (or at least I hope you know) that it’s really all about you, and that with a slight shift in perspective, these annoyances will dissolve? Anyway, that happened to me today at yoga. The class was jammed, and the guy next to me kept downward-dogging his gigantic left foot onto my mat. The first time it kind of bothered me. For some reason, though, I decided it was funny—and then the next dozen or so times he landed on my mat, it actually made me laugh to myself, bringing levity and humor to an otherwise challenging class. So I’m grateful to wayward-foot dude, and everyone else in the room, for an amusing two hours. Strangers are our teachers!*

3. The peanut butter cookie I just ate instead of lunch. Vegan, gluten-free and utterly, insanely delicious. I’ll share the recipe in an upcoming Meatless Monday Inspiration post, promise.

4. My meditation practice. I’m back on the wagon, y’all. Are you? If you still don’t have a daily practice, no big deal. We have 11 easy ways to meditate over here—they’re worth your time and effort, especially around the holidays, when most of us get a little emotional about something or other: That story your sister decided to tell (again) about the time you did something really dumb when you were 13; the fact that you’re missing people who aren’t around, at least in a physical form, anymore; the offhand comment about your love life that throws you for a loop. Put simply, meditation helps you react less. This is a very useful tool to have at your disposal when you need it.

5. My body. Sometimes, you feel like your feet have been cemented to cinderblocks. Other times, you feel like a cute little frog hopping around weightlessly. The former makes the latter all the more special, right? Today, I’m thankful I feel froggy.

All right! What about you? What are you grateful for?

* That might take the cake for “corniest thing Siobhan has ever said.” I mean it, though.

6 Responses to “Get Happier: What Are You Grateful For?”
  1. Alexandra says:

    1. How funny my husband is, especially first thing in the morning.

    2. Alternate nostril breathing, which instantly helps me de-stress and can even be done in traffic.

    3. My friends, my family, the people I work with—even when they drive me nuts. Like Siobhan, I believe everyone is put in our lives for a reason. And the ones who drive us crazy are the best teachers!

    4. Creativity. It’s the thing that gets me up in the morning.

    5. This site. It still kind of amazes me that people come here everyday and share so much. It’s really special.

  2. Charley says:

    1. My cat for having such a huge personality and being a constant source of amusement, love, affection and pure joy. Also that she’s so happy to be with me and not in the situation I rescued her from.

    2. The proximity I have to my family, it’ll probably change next year so I’m thinking about it every day and how lucky I am for them.

    3. The £12 I spent on a huge amount of amazing looking fresh organic vegetables and eggs today from my favourite farm, I can’t stop marvelling at how beautiful it all is and how cheap.

    4. That I’m warm, quiet and SAFE this evening. The last week of activity in Israel and Gaza has made me extra aware.

    5. That sites like this exist, that the internet exists to share and communicate with like minded people everywhere! Such a comfort.

  3. Victoria says:

    1. My Abuelita. Even though she is gone, there is not a day I’m not grateful she taught me to be passionate in what I do. She encouraged me to exceed my own expectations (“Start by being a teacher and end up as the principal!”) and her love of science and food has motivated me my entire life.

    2. My humor. I can see the humor in almost any situation, which makes me a little inappropriate at times. Life is funny, human beings are funnier and if you can’t laugh at yourself you still have some growing to do! Also, don’t hang out with me.

    3. My job. I love every minute of running LBF, even when it gets insane and I am pushed to practically pulling my own hair out. Doing what you love makes it worthwhile to start your days at 5am and end it when the wolves begin to howl. So grateful for this.

    4. The people I choose to be a part of my life. They are special and reward me with their kindness, generosity and I am a happy person knowing they’re in my corner and on this planet.

    5. My customers and LBF fans. These guys make us work harder, research longer, and make better products. To have any person with a choice decide to buy our products is not something I take lightly and when they keep coming back…it makes me appreciate the trust and love they’ve given to our business.

  4. Thank you both so much for allowing us this space to list our gratitudes!

    1. My friends and family, who have gotten me through, well, everything – including pretty bad health scares, business stresses, the hurricane(s), and my successes/achievements/big-grin-inducing days.

    2. Comfy shoes. I stand 15 hours a day. I LIVE by comfy shoes.

    3. My acupuncturist, who keeps me sane and healthy. And who allows me to carve out time that’s just for me.

    4. My customers, many of whom I now call my friends, because I have the BEST CUSTOMERS IN THE WORLD.

    5. My ability to help out with the hurricane relief. The damage of this past storm (compounded by last year’s hurricane) has weighed heavily on me. But I’m lucky enough that my apartment and business weren’t badly damaged, and that I have the physical ability to help those who lost everything. I can’t express the solace I feel when I can turn all these complex emotions into something tangible.

  5. eva says:

    1) My healthy, adorable, sweet, hilarious big (19 lbs!), sleep-through-the-night, grinning most wonderful 6 month old baby boy. I am so grateful for him all the time I wish there was a…temple where I could go sacrifice a cow or something, to show the gods my appreciation and bargain with them to always keep him safe. Sadly I’m an atheist. But I feel like I can’t thank the universe enough for this mischievous, awesome, sweet, smiling and funny little person that live with us now and that we somehow miraculously made. Sorry to be corny but you asked for it.
    2) My husband and step-son who’s as devoted to, as we call him,The Pale Whale as I am. And who’s made it such a joy to make our family bigger.
    3) That we’re financially safer than we were a year ago.
    4) That we’re healthy.
    5) Skype. So I can talk to family in Europe as much as I want. My family in Europe, period.

    There’s a whole bunch of other stuff (like Stark Skincare, coconut ice cream, that I figured out that dairy isn’t really my friend and neither is gluten, my neighborhood in NYC and so on, but no 1 and no 2 really takes up so much space these days.

  6. Moira says:

    I recently learned about how being grateful can really turn your day around. It changes your attitude towards things and very soon things dont seem so bad after all. It can be almost kind of like a stress reliever which has resulted in improvements in my overall well being in general. When you suffer with eczema that can be helped by an attitude of gratitude.

    Hopefully others too will see your post and experience the amazing benefits of being grateful for what we have. Thank you!

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