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“When I’m worried and I can’t sleep I count my blessing instead of sheep And I fall asleep, counting my blessings”

— lyrics by Diana Kral

Sleepless? Do you toss and turn with your mind flooded with things undone and worries that haunt you? Gratitude is the key. Focus your attention on the miracle of life by recounting all the things, big and small, that have gone well today (are you still breathing?) instead of recounting what you perceive to be your shortcomings.

Let’s say that in any given day one hundred things happen, and ninety-nine go more or less right. There is only one thing out of a hundred that did not go according to your expectations. And yet, what is it that you tend to talk about over dinner? We share our ‘woe is me’ story.

That’s right! We automatically place our focus on the one thing short of our anticipated goal and stretch it out of proportion. By magnifying its importance we invite worrisome thoughts and habituate our ability to notice other irritations. Rather than having a worry-fest to hone your negative thinking that insures despair and worry, we must retrain ourselves to notice and emphasize all the blessings that surround us.

At the end of each day (and at every conscious moment in between) count your blessings instead of your flock of concerns. Announce your positive experiences, to yourself, your family, or captured in a journal. Gratitude provides a wonderful bookend to protect you from fear and prepares your Spirit to surrender the day, find restful sleep, and prepare to greet another day with greater joy, creativity, and hope.

MY SHORTCUT TODAY: Today I catch my wandering mind before it settles on expanding unnecessarily any disappointments and irritations that come via my judgments. I retrain myself to notice even the simple wonders, and feel my body release tension as I make my bed a place of peace. Here I count my blessings as my ritual to close the day, acknowledge myself for all my good intentions, and surrender my thoughts transformed to happy dreams.