It’s no secret that gratitude is a powerful tool for mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that gratitude supports mental health by shifting focus away from toxic emotions and provides resilience to weather life challenges, among other benefits.
What comes to mind when you’re asked, “What are you grateful for?”
For many of us, loved ones (both people and pets!) top the list, sometimes along with spiritual figures, organizations, achievements, and even forces of nature like the weather or season. It’s wonderful to feel gratitude for each of these, and whatever else comes to mind specifically for you! In addition to those, however, there’s a whole world of small, overlooked things – the objects in your life you interact with often, but barely think about. Let’s give them the spotlight today!
Journal prompt: What everyday objects are you grateful for?
To add to your personal abundance of gratitude, I invite you to focus your attention on humble, everyday objects in your life. Nothing is too insignificant or mundane for gratitude. If you can’t think of anything, take a look around you and linger on what you see – a pen, a plant, your microwave, a sock – and reflect on its role in your life.
For each object you choose, try exploring:
- How does this object serve me?
- If I were to say “thank you” to this object, what would I thank it for?
- What can I do in my life to express my appreciation for this object?
As a personal example, I love realizing how grateful I am for my dishwasher and washing machine. They work hard – I run them frequently, and they clean everything I give them with less water and effort (on my part) than if I were to do it myself! In return, I can thank them for their hard work by treating them respectfully and keeping them clean and well-maintained. I buy them cleaning tablets and it almost feels like buying treats for my dogs!
With just a shift of focus and a moment of reflection, we’re able to deepen our level of conscious appreciation for everyday objects around us. It’s a great way to reduce your stress levels and bring more joy into your life!
What will everyday gratitude change for you?
Once you get into a practice of feeling gratitude toward everyday objects in your life, you might be surprised how the positive effects cascade across your daily life.
For me, cleaning my dishwasher and washing machine regularly no longer feels like a chore or something to just “get over with”. It takes effort and time to run cleaning cycles, wash filters, and wipe them down, but these feel like acts of appreciation and care for these machines that do so much for me.
Not only has this mindset removed the little bit of stress that comes with having to do a “chore”, I’ve noticed that I enjoy loading up my machines and running them more, too. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how just the awareness of my gratitude toward them gives me a tiny boost of joy every time I use them.
Imagine these tiny boosts of joy popping up all over your day, whenever you pick up your pen, put on your socks, or open the fridge (the possibilities are endless!). How would that change the tone of your day? It sounds delightful to me, and I think it’s totally possible through gratitude for everyday objects. 😊