We are always hearing how we should practice “gratefulness”. What exactly does that mean?
It means something different to everyone. Some days it is a lot easier than other days to think about what it means to be grateful.
For some, it is new age mumbo jumbo! Are you rolling your eyes yet? At one point, I too felt that way.
I have had some dark times where I thought nothing could ever turn out positively.
When we have something negative happen such as losing a job, a relationship, or even something small, we tend to focus on that one thing. I am in no way saying those things and many other things are not terrible at the time. We all go through challenges in life.
Think about it. When something happens that is not positive, what do you do? I will tell you what I was doing and still do at times. Focus on that one thing that isn’t going right.
“How could they do that to me?”
“I was clearly the best person for that job!!”
Whatever the case, we tend to let it dominate our thoughts for the day or if more serious, the night as well and who knows how long.
We know we shouldn’t do that. We know we should let it go and move on but somehow we are too upset. That is OK. It is OK to be upset when something negative happens. Own that emotion. It is important to do so.
Then take a deep breath. Then stop and think about something good in your life.
On the tough days, it is difficult to do so. Try this as an experiment after you have given the upsetting emotions their due diligence.
What am I thankful for in my life?
It could be something as simple as I have a roof over my head and food to eat or you have your health.
In the morning when you wake up, think of why you are grateful. Do this before you get out of bed.
Do the same when you get in to bed at night. What good thing happened today?
Try this for a few days as an experiment.
I am not saying you suddenly will be skipping through tulips. You might surprise yourself at how this one little change can change your day.
I know, for me, it completely changed my perspective. I was going to bed upset, waking up in the middle of the night more upset and then waking up in the morning tired and still thinking about my problem.
It took me a few days of forcing myself to do this to see a change. Some days I couldn’t even think of one positive thing even though I knew I had many. I didn’t want to let go of the anger. It was like a cozy blanket I wrapped around myself.
What did that do? Not a thing! It only made me angrier which didn’t help at all!
Finally I thought to myself, Why not? I don’t have anything to lose.
I was wrong. I did have something to lose. I lost the extreme anger. As you know, the more you obsesses over something and analyze it to death the bigger it becomes. Especially if it is something you can’t change!
I was so surprised at the difference it made.
Try it. You might just surprise yourself….