Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 64 – 6/1/15
The other night I couldn’t get to sleep. I’d had a difficult day at work and it kept me tossing and turning. Perhaps you’re familiar with that negative tape that continues to wind and rewind through your brain at night? Finally I managed to stop myself and put my mind to thinking about things I’m grateful for. Not the typical stuff, like having a good marriage, an awesome daughter, and good health (though I am thankful for those things).
No, this was all about the weird stuff. Like I’m grateful for the sound of a train at night; for some reason, it makes me feel good. I love cloud pictures and how they morph from one thing to another. Frost on the windowpanes in the winter, which always make me pause to check out the intricate designs. Ditto rivulets of water on a car window when driving on a rainy day. The smell of a freshly cut lawn. Hearing the song Somewhere over the Rainbow sung by Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole (who left this earth far too soon, in June of 1997) and of course, rainbows (especially those rare double rainbows).
Finally, I’m grateful to have the ability to get up and write down my ideas at 4:30 in the morning!
In her book, The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky wrote that expressing gratitude is the #1 “happiness activity.” Ms. Lyubomirsky had the research to back up her assertions; but to be honest, I don’t need an expert to know that being grateful is good for me and makes me happier (along with helping me fall asleep). I mean, it simply makes sense, doesn’t it?
I can only speak for myself – but I know that when I’m taking my life for granted and get cranky or ticked off because things simply aren’t going my way, God has a way of showing me something that stops me in my tracks. I’ll be watching the news, and see someone who has really big problems. I’ll click on one of those FB posts about a child who’s suffering from a rare cancer. I’ll think about my oldest sister, who’s had her independence greatly hindered because of deteriorating eyesight; or my sister-in-law, who survived cancer and other health issues, with the help of PMA (positive mental attitude).
Along with helping me sleep, gratitude for my life helps me focus on the positive, enhances my self-confidence, decreases my stress, and simply helps me appreciate the good stuff about growing older. And it sure beats the heck out of walking around with a dark cloud above my head.
How about you? What does gratitude do for you?
©Bea Boomers Wellness 2015