Thanks for the little things makes a big difference

Thanks for the Little Things

Writing thanks for the little things

Thanks for the little things? Really?

Really. Even though everyone is feeling stress these days, there is plenty of scientific evidence that it does us good to identify and experience thankfulness. Even thanks for the little things.

Since I mentioned science, I feel obliged to offer evidence.

Psychology Today (2015) cites seven benefits of gratitude relative to stress. Three of them may be especially relevant to the stress you/we are experiencing:

Here’s a really scientific statement from Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury, a clinical psychologist:

At a neurobiological level, gratitude regulates the sympathetic nervous system that activates our anxiety responses, and at the psychological level, it conditions the brain to filter the negative ruminations and focus on the positive thoughts.

In other words gratitude–felt and expressed–moderates our anxiety tendencies and helps our minds to stay upbeat rather than to feel down.

Finally, as far as my evidence goes, let’s blend the scientific with the emotional, specifically with happiness. How about the Harvard Healthbeat‘s statement:

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

No matter how happy you are now, would being happier help you as the current stay-at-home environment continues?

How to do gratitude

Each of the sources cited above offers several “gratitude practices.” All are good. All are worth the read. There is a  secret to paying attention to gratitude as a way to solve feeling bad, like from long lines to get into the grocery store or nothing on television but news that’s becoming pretty redundant. You want to select gratitude activities that

Here are my own favorite 3:

  1. A gratitude journal or list. Writing by hand, rather than typing, draws the direct connection between your spirit/emotion, mind, and body. I’ve written 10 Thank Yous every morning for some 10 years. I like the morning because I can reflect on yesterday’s gratitude-givers and I can anticipate what I’ll be thankful for yet today.
  2. Writing thank-you notes. Some sources say it does you as much good to write the thank-you note mentally. Not so. The spirit/emotion-mind-body connection matters here, too. Granted, a thank-you email is better than nothing but not as good as one you fold, seal the envelope around, put a stamp on and drop in the mail.
  3. Contact those you’re thankful you know (or knew). Whether you actually thank them for being in your life or not, the simple action of calling someone up and making contact will make you thankful. That you know/knew them and they matter in some way is a gratitude experience. That you make the time and spend the energy and overcome any hesitation to ring them up is gratitude in action.

Praying thanks for being thankful

Living, loving Spirit,
knowing thanks is a powerful experience.
Showing thanks magnifies that experience.
We thank you for the awareness that no matter
how stressful life is,
no matter how much we want things normal,
no matter what we cannot do or have right now,
we truly can find abundant thankfulness.
Guide us to look closely, to see clearly, to hear sharply,
to taste patiently, to feel calmly. In doing that we will
know the little things for which we can give thanks.
Wisdom tells us we serve ourselves much more
by enjoying gratitude than by regretting lack.
We thank you for the wisdom.
And so it is. And so we thank you, Spirit.

Love & Blessings,




7 April 2020



Posted on April 7, 2020 at 11:46 am by Tim · Permalink
In: Gratitude, Happiness, Praying · Tagged with: , , ,