In November, we are reminded to be thankful and grateful for who and what we have in our lives. However, it has always puzzled me why this idea is not acknowledged all year long. Being grateful is a mindset and that means it can be taught. We all can change our mindset and sometimes that means focusing on the seemingly small things.
Look out your window. What do you see? Is there a huge oak tree? Do you see birds flying freely in the air? Do you see a plane coming in for a landing? Now take note of how seeing those things make you feel in that moment. That feeling of joy you get from seeing something so common can be a part of gratitude. Now think about something that you love doing. What if one day you were no longer able to do it? Feeling thankful for each day you get to live it is gratitude. Think about the people you trust and can call on when you are not at your best. Simply saying ‘thank you’ to them is showing gratitude. Consider that you have been through something challenging, but you made it through. The appreciation of overcoming a difficult situation is gratitude.
Gratitude is not a holiday, nor does it have to be in the form of big gestures. It is a mindset about how we see the world and things that happen to us. It is valuing the little things that we enjoy and the challenges that life can bring. Even more importantly, gratitude is about cherishing those around us who love us and give so much of themselves to enrich our lives. Maya Angelou said it best, “This is a wonderful day. I have not seen this one before.” Carry this message in every relationship, interaction, and day to remind you to be grateful.
Monet Somerville, MS
Monet received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from North Carolina Wesleyan College. She then went on to receive her Master’s in Science in Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development from Capella University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Developmental Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development. Monet is also a licensed Trust Based Relational Intervention Practitioner.
Prior to working to The Parenting Center, Monet worked as a Case Manager in a residential facility for adolescent girls who were in foster care but were unable to be placed in a foster home. She also taught foster parents about child development and the impacts that positive parenting can make on a child.