Saturday is both International Peace Day and World Gratitude Day. Both gratitude and peace are topics that we talk about a lot and are so crucial to our society becoming a healthy community rather than one fraught with tension, hatred and violence. Today I thought I’d share a few thoughts on how you can have more peace in your life and how gratitude can positively impact your life.
Let’s start with gratitude. Why? Because having more gratitude towards life and each other can help increase the amount of peace we have and spread into the world. A simple place to start infusing your life with gratitude is to say “thank you” more often. Say ‘thank you’ when someone holds the door open for you, say ‘thank you’ when you remember where you put something, say ‘thank you’ when someone helps you with a project at work, say ‘thank you’ when you get a gift, say ‘thank you’ when someone hands you a plate at a meal, say ‘thank you’ when you wake up, say ‘thank you’ when you go outside and see a beautiful blue sky with fluffy white clouds, say ‘thank you’ when you get good news, say ‘thank you’ when you get done with that day’s top priorities.
Those are just a few of the opportunities each day you may have to be thankful, but with each one comes the opportunity to say out loud or just think the words ‘thank you’ to reinforce to others and your own brain the good things that have happened. Having lots of gratitude in your life doesn’t mean that things won’t go wrong or won’t be discouraging from time to time, but if we’re more focused on being grateful we won’t be the wet rag in our relationships, at our places of employment, or on social media, the person who contributes to the violence and hatred in the world.
So how do we have more peace in our lives? Start by saying ‘no’, ending relationships, and leaving situations that hurt you physically or mentally. Making separation, however big or small especially to start, from the people and situations that tend to get us into trouble, increase our stress levels and cause us hours and days of anxiety, frustration, angst and hurt will help us create more peace in our lives. You may not be able to make full separations from some of these situations now or ever, but the more separation you can make, the more you can do to remove yourself from situations you know will trigger you, the more opportunities you’ll have to put yourself into situations that will be good for your physical and mental health and leave you with a feeling of peace.
Like many other things, gratitude and peace begin with you. You can’t make anywhere near the impact on the world around you if you don’t start with your own life first. What role do gratitude and peace play in your life?