A few years ago, when my anxiety was at a high point, I started a habit of thinking about, or thanking God, for the things I am thankful for each day. Even when the anxiety subsides, this habit sticks around. I started doing this to ease my mind when I was trying to sleep. Night time is when my mind tends to run a muck, and I have to work extra hard to change my thinking track to something positive and to quiet the negative thoughts. Focusing on what I’m grateful for turned everything around for me.
This habit came in handy during my recent hospital stay, and even now it can quickly turn a bad day or just crappy moment around. This morning I was so very tired after nursing Luna for what felt like the 100th time. Even though she is sleeping more, I am not. I kind of go into a half-sleep, just awake enough so I can hear every little grunt and sigh Luna makes. I’m sure most new Moms go through this, but I can’t help but sleep on edge just waiting for her to wake up and need me.
Anyways, I was exhausted this morning, trying desperately to decide to either go back to sleep or get up and make breakfast. (Food and sleep are the two things I need most and I can often only pick one.) However, right at that moment I glanced at Luna, who was sleeping soundly and she had pushed her tiny foot out of her carefully swaddled blanket and so much gratitude came over me.
Then I thought, what am I thankful for right at this moment…forget the lack of sleep, the hunger, the pile of dirty dishes, the mound of laundry, the bills stacked on the kitchen table, the worries streaming through my head…what do I have to appreciate right now.
Well, first there’s the most perfect baby sleeping peacefully who I am lucky enough to call my daughter. Then there’s the hot cup of coffee I just brewed sitting in my hands. Good Morning America is on and Robin Roberts always makes me smile. I have my favorite huge fluffy warm blanket wrapped around me keeping me warm. There’s my little Belle curled up in my nook fast asleep, and on the arm of the couch is Duckie, also sleeping. Even Husband is fast asleep down the hall. I have my whole little family together all sleeping around me. And so so so much more…
Instantly, the groggy sleep-deprived morning felt like the best morning ever. How lucky am I to be surrounded by so much love? When you look at life with a little more gratitude, nothing else seems to matter much.
So, I challenge you, the next time you are feeling down, worried or angry to take a minute and reflect on what you are thankful for at that very moment. See if it can turn your day around.