June's Gratitude

June is a crazy month.  Work is busy and it was that way before I had to take nearly 3 weeks off to do courses for my PhD.  So it can get quite stressful and yet, I maintained my gratitude practice throughout the month, which helped center me at times as the stress ebbed and flowed.  

June's Thankful Blog Word Cloud
Taking time each day to acknowledge the big and small elements of my life has proved quite useful as a calming device and to lessen stress.  It helps me to situate the good and marvelous while de-emphasize that which is looming.  It can also turn that which is stressful into something positive.  For instance, I am clearly stressed with reading and course work during June but by pausing and reflecting on it, I am also thankful to be in a doctoral program where I have the opportunity (really, the luxury) to engage in intellectual acrobatics about the nature of higher education.  As my mind comes to that realization, it makes the stress of trying to get everything done for the class a bit less daunting.  

So I have been practicing daily gratitude for six months and weekly thank-you notes for about four months.  I don't know that I've seen much change (though I'm not necessarily looking for change, but just seeing if I register any difference) but I do find it brings me joy and helps me to keep life in perspective.  I'd like to think I can keep things in reasonable perspective, but I think we all believe that about ourselves (just like we're all above average), so helping to center myself in regards to the great things that are present in my life certainly helps.  

For those interesting in seeing what else I've been reflecting on when it comes to gratitude, here's a look:

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.