In our February Will Power issue, we introduced our readers to the concept of mindfulness, or being present, in your everyday life. A very simple component of mindfulness is taking a moment to appreciate what is literally in front of you, or around you. Spend your moment of mindfulness with your mind on what you have.
Try to experience a feeling of appreciation – call it gratitude, if you like – for what you have, but on a very small scale. You may have a grand house or a studio apartment. You may have a luxury car or a free bus pass. Can you appreciate the value in each? Now move inward and appreciate something more personal.
If you have nothing more than the ability to have a moment of quiet reflection, appreciate it. If you have an important meeting today, or if you got a nice email, appreciate it. If you can’t think of anything special to appreciate, then you can appreciate:
Your breath. As you sit quietly, appreciate your lungs and air to breathe. Appreciate that each inhale brings essential oxygen into your body and each exhale removes toxins.
Your hearing. If you can hear yourself breathing, appreciate the intricacies of your ear.
Your smile. Do you feel silly, sitting there while appreciating your breathing and hearing? Then laugh and smile and appreciate that you can find humor in everyday life.
Your humanity. Mindfulness is a unique human experience. To sit quietly with one’s thoughts is a blessing of intellect and leisure.
“Once we discover how to appreciate the timeless values in our daily experiences, we can enjoy the best things in life.” — Jerome K. Jerome, British author and humorist.
Psychology research from several American universities has shown that people who practice
gratitude, even on a small scale, are more calm, have a better outlook on life, are less likely to have conflict in their daily dealings with people, are more emotionally resilient, and report better social lives. But you’ve got to start small. For example, the social workers at the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund appreciate you taking the time to read this. Thank you.
Sources: Read more quotes about appreciation at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/appreciate_4.html#Ov4ttTfTuCH8ruhT.99
“A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day” by John Tierney. New York