Sometimes it takes something devastating to remind you to be grateful for the little things in life.

it's the little thingsI’ve been missing in action lately.  I spent exactly one month in the hospital with an infection, blood clot, and flare up of one of Myasthenia Gravis, one of the autoimmune diseases I have.  I’ve been home a little over a week, and let me just say how good it is to be home!  I don’t remember the last time I was so grateful to be in my own house, in my own room, in my own bed, with the company of my own dog.

It strikes me as kind of sad though that it often takes something catastrophic happening to us to remind us to be grateful for everything we have.  We speed around with our blinders on forgetting to see everything in our lives that make them so wonderful and so worth living.  But we don’t have to wait for something terrible to happen to remind us to appreciate our lives.  Here are five simple things you can do to stay present to gratitude in your life:

  1. Put time aside.
    One of the most important things you can do is put time aside to think about the things you are grateful for.  Whether it is a minute before each meal or before you go to sleep or even a whole day of the week, take time to think about and reflect on the things that make life wonderful.
  2. Write it down.
    When you take time to think about things you are grateful for, remember to write it down somewhere special like in a journal or even post it on your wall.  That way when you forget you have a physical reminder of the good things in life.  This is especially key to have during difficult times when life seems bleak.
  3. Share the love.
    Good things in life are meant to be shared.  Telling others the things you are grateful for will help you stay in tuned with gratitude and may even help others find gratitude in their own lives.
  4. Don’t discount the little things.
    Sometimes when things aren’t going well it can seem difficult to find anything to be grateful for, so break it down to the very basics.  Find gratitude for small things that make up your life.  For waking up in the morning, for hugs from people you love, for breathing, or whatever it is in your life.
  5. Say thanks.
    Whether you thank a the people in your life you are grateful for or thank a higher power, saying thank you keeps you in touch with gratitude in your life.

GratitudeI am grateful for being able to walk.  For being able to smile.  For being able to breathe.  I am grateful for friends.  For family.  For my dog.  I am grateful for my Heavenly Father.  For my Savior.  For the restored gospel.  I am grateful for my creativity.  My intelligence.  My skills, abilities, and gifts.  I am grateful for good times.  For challenging times that make me grow.  I am grateful for this life.  I am grateful.

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About Lauren

Lauren believes that life can be full of joy and gratitude especially in the face of life's toughest trials. A highly creative person, the 32-year-old has a background in web & graphic design, musical theater, competitive improvisation, film production, and Alternate Reality Games. She is passionate about creative writing and is working on the final drafts of two science fiction novels. As a graduate of Landmark Education she has developed herself personally and professionally allowing her to powerfully create the life that she wants. After being diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases including Myasthenia Gravis and Sjogren's Syndrome, she adapted to new limitations while also discovering new interests and creative outlets that have given her life renewed purpose. Although she was raised Jewish, she converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Her faith helped her to endure and even flourish.