The Grateful Thread

Practicing gratitude is at least as old as the Romans, Stoics specifically. It has also found support in modern scientific research on the causes of happiness. I often hear people mention listing 3 items a day, which can work for many. I didn’t feel like it allowed me to progress. I treat gratitude like a muscle, it can be exercised daily, but greater efforts can last longer.

My favourite variation, so far, is to see how many things I can be genuinely grateful for, in one sitting, by memory alone. By relying on recall, I strengthen good memories, making them more accessible in darker times. The challenge of maximizing my list does two things:

  1. Provides a measurable sense of progress
  2. Forces me to dig deeper and realize small things I take for granted

Try it out, at your convenience, over a few weeks, and comment with your experience. There is no time limit. The longer you find gratitude, the better.

Some examples from my last list:

  • The sound of wind through trees
  • Thoughtful family
  • My adorable dog
  • Insightful podcasts
  • Friendly neighbours
  • Good customer service
  • Reuniting with old friends
  • Safe city, province, and country
  • Enthusiastic coworkers
  • Smart lights
  • Supportive Professors

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