July in New Zealand means dark winter mornings. Getting up when it’s dark outside puts me out of kilter and can leave a cloud hanging over my whole day. Spring will come, but in the meantime, I’m open to strategies to beat the winter blues. Inspired by a personal account of the benefits of starting the day with a simple gratitude practice, I resolved to give it a try.
Morning gratitude fosters contentment
Sadly, cure the winter blues it did not. However, a few moments of gratitude before rising warmed my heart and awakened an appreciation for my secure and abundant life.
Upon waking, I simply list the things I’m grateful for. A definite pattern emerged. Invariably, my first thoughts of thanks is for my snuggly, warm bed.
As I contemplate getting out of my snuggly, warm bed, I’m thankful I live in a warm home, can afford to flick the heater on and enjoy a warm shower.
A snore or snuffle from my husband or son turns my thoughts to my family and how grateful I am for their existence, their love, their support and their good health.
As I consider the day ahead, I appreciate the freedom I have to plan my day, the choices and opportunities open to me and the level of self-determination that I exercise.
This simple morning gratitude practice, and its daily repetition, imbues me with a real sense of contentment. While I was safe, secure and free all along, I now feel safe, secure and free. Starting the day feeling this, and mindful that my family has all the necessities under control with no major worries or hardships, certainly brings a new perspective to my usual daily dramas.
I’m still no fan of mornings. I’m still hanging out for spring. But a little gratitude in the morning makes each day a little brighter from the inside out. I intend to continue with it.
Are you a morning person? Have you tried a gratitude practice?