Sam Radford

July 1, 2022

Gratitude in the small moments, not just the big

It’s easy to be grateful for the big moments in life. A new job. A fantastic holiday. A loved-one’s birthday. That’s not to say gratitude is a given though. It’s still very much a choice. 

But gratitude truly finds its wings when it reaches beyond the exceptional and extends to the mundane. There’s a reason millions of religious people pause before each meal and give thanks (even if many of them have forgotten it!). It’s not an accident the way countless people capture what they’re thankful for in a daily journal. 

The reward from this kind of gratitude is not always an in-the-moment emotional lift every single time. Far from it. And nor do we do it because we always feel thankful. Not at all. It is like exercising or eating healthily; the return of investment is rarely experienced in the moment—it’s for a better future. 

You’ll end up more resilient. Your self-esteem will be healthier. Sleep will be fuller. You’ll have more empathy. Toxic emotions like envy or resentment will have less influence over you. Your relationships are likely to be richer. Even your physical health is likely to improve. 

And that’s just a few of the benefits of gratitude scientific research has highlighted. 

The question, then, is not so much: should I be grateful? Rather, it’s: can I afford not to be grateful?

And ultimately, gratitude in the small moments stems from learning to notice the small moments. To not let them pass on by. It’s easy to remember the times you yelled at your kids, or the bickering between siblings. But don’t forget to notice the laughter, the hugs, the silliness… the small moments. They’re there, always there, if we have eyes to see.

—Sam

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