Am I too busy to be grateful?

Last night I made a well-intentioned plan to sit quietly and start a gratitude journal this morning; instead, I woke up 10 minutes late. My alarm had gone off but I must have been too tired to hear it. This may have had something to do with the 1,30am and 4am booby call from the baby or maybe just an accumulation of exhausted days. Either way I was catapulted into the school run while still digging the sleepy dust out of my eyes. I had forgotten I was supposed to be grateful!

Unsurprisingly, my children didn’t share my urgency and before I knew it I was feeling frustrated and frazzled. This was definitely not a contented family moment! I didn’t seem to have the time to be grateful!


The problem with feeling this way is it becomes a snowball of negativity, getting bigger and bigger as the bad feelings build momentum. How many times have you had one of those days when it feels as if everything just goes wrong? Days like that usually start with mornings like this; but this time I was going to be proactive. I may have been in a rush but the Contented Family Project is all about prioritising happiness and gratitude above everything else, so I stopped and remembered to breath.

At this point I tried to feel grateful, I tried to list all the things that I love in my life;

  • My husband (who was currently snoring after a long night shift)
  • My kids (who were screaming at each other over who was sitting on the bean bag)
  • My home (it was a mess)
  • Food (I still hadn’t eaten breakfast)

So you can see my problem, I was just in too much of a rushed and stressed mood to be really genuinely grateful. Sure, I could make a list but what does that achieve if I didn’t feel the gratitude in my heart? It would have just been superficial and not a contented family moment.

So I stopped again and focused on breathing.

I have done some work on breathing before so I tried this two minuet technique. I may have found it challenging to find two minutes to do my make-up but don’t forget, this project is about prioritising happiness. I decided taking this time out was imperative.

After these two minutes I genuinely felt more in control. I had stopped the momentum of the negative snowball and was determined to find gratitude in my morning. I didn’t have to look far.

I went back down the stairs and got the breakfast things together calmly. Realising I didn’t have time to do a journal I started to simply talk about gratitude with the kids. We talked about what it meant and what we were grateful for as we ate.

From this conversation I learnt very important things about my children. Firstly, my eldest is grateful for the whole world and my middle child is grateful for every programme on Netflix. And I am grateful for my breath.

The day continued and there were ups and downs. There were more moments when I felt rushed and flustered but I kept remembering to breath and returned to a place where I could be grateful again.

So since last night when I decided to do a gratitude journal, I have learnt that gratitude only works if you mean it and to mean it you have to be in a clear and calm place, which for me is not the school run!

Over the next few days I will continue to work on breathing and gratitude and see if it has any real effect in increasing the happiness levels of the household. I may or may not start an actual  journal, I will see if I have time!

If you have had any similar experiences trying to practice gratitude or have any tips for me please get it touch

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16 thoughts on “Am I too busy to be grateful?

  1. This was such an enjoyable yet insightful article. I’m gonna keep the two minute de-stress technique in my mind the next time I’m going through my everyday stresses. Great tips! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thank you. I do the breathing thing everyday now and it really works. Sometimes it only calms me for a short time and I feel.the negativity start to rise again. Instead of giving up though I’ve learnt to do it again. I want to feel.good so I persist. I hope it helps you too let me know how you get on xx

  2. Great post! I myself have been in a a rush with everything and exhausted I should do the breathing and fry to at least think every morning of the things I’m grateful for 🙂

    • It’s not easy. Life demands so much of us and we put so many expectations on ourselves. It is well worth the effort though. When you feel calm and grateful the rest of the day seems easier and you feel more in control. Good luck let me know how you get on 🙂

  3. I completely understand where you are coming from, we must truly practice and feel gratitude otherwise we will not feel satisfied. I feel anxious in certain situations and sometimes it can feel as though it is the end of the world even though I know it is not and have been looking to try out meditation.

    • I love the idea of meditation but I never seem to have the time! Keep following because I will be experimenting with different meditation techniques to see if I can realistically fit them into a busy life. Wish me luck lol 🙂

  4. Great post, Lisa. So often we forget the importance of being grateful for the things we have. But you rightly said that gratefulness should come from within and should not be forced. Thanks for sharing this post and the two-minute de-stress technique. Really helpful.

    • The problem I find is finding techniques I can realistically keep up with. Life is just so hectic. That’s why I love the 2 minute one, no matter what we can always find that time and those two minuets can completely change your day. I hope it works for you like it has for me 🙂

  5. I have a helpful tip that I can share! When you get into bed at night, always think of 3 good things that happened that day. After practicing this positive exercise for while, you’ll see how many good things actually do happen that you don’t even realize, causing you to be more open to feeling grateful. Good luck!
    -Cara Z

    • That’s fabulous thank you. I will do that and see how it changes how I feel. I think it’l be good because you have to think through the day from a positive perspective and probably end up with more than 3! I am so desperate for sleep right now but my baby has other ideas so I may just fall asleep without notice. If this does happen il try tomorrow lol 🙂

  6. I honestly really enjoyed reading this post , I can relate with you so much . I’m currently writing my gratitude journal everyday u try to write 10 things I’m grateful for every morning . It really does help .

    • I’m really glad the gratitude journal is helping you. I really need to get into it more. I know it will have a positive effect I just find the mornings such a hectic time. We talk about what we are grateful for at breakfast which is lovely but there is definitely something therapeutic about writing it down, also I imagine its a great thing to look back on. I just need to find a way to fit it in. My latest post looks at time saving tips so maybe if I put these into action I might find 5 minuets lol

  7. Pingback: How to Help Your Kids Be Grateful in 2016 |

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