This simple exercise can help you see the glass half full instead of half empty.
The drab routine, your spouse’s bad mood, an unsettled child, the impossibility of going out to hug your friends and loved ones … The list of reasons to be sad and unhappy just goes on and on.
It’s no good to only consider the difficult side of life during this lockdown. How about exploring the other side of life as well, the one with all those little moments of joy life offers you? You might then become aware of all the good things you enjoy, and appreciate what you do have instead of spending your time regretting what you don’t. You’re sure to be surprised just how long that list is!
The countless sources of joy and occasions to say thank you
That was the reaction of Marie and John when they tried this little test. They were astonished by the result. First of all, they realized it was impossible to write an exhaustive list because, every day, almost every moment, there were things, from the most trivial to the most important, that were causes for joy, little or great: savoring a nice moment with friends via a video call, admiring a sunrise from the window, appreciating one of your spouse’s little attentions, being moved by the sound of the neighbors clapping or singing on their balconies … All of that quite simply swells the heart!
Their next surprise — and not the least — was discovering that explicitly acknowledging all these little joys (that smile, that outburst of enthusiasm, sharing with others) prompted a spontaneous thank you. Thank you for this beauty, thank you for this act of thoughtfulness, for that smile in these hard times … They were able to reground their overall view of the world, and their own life in particular, by joining it to gratitude.
But putting it into practice isn’t always easy. It takes a good dose of faith and open-mindedness to change your way of doing things and dare to express thanks. An attitude of gratitude, of thankfulness, makes life easier for everyone and reaffirms St. Paul’s suggestion that we give thanks “in all things” (1 Thes 5:18).