Gratitude is a huge part of happiness because it changes our mindset so that we focus on the positive.
Every morning, I write in my gratitude journal. Some days it seems like I don’t have much to be grateful for. Those days, I start with the things that I appreciate the most. I am grateful for my family, my home, my job and the possibility of tomorrow. Every single day, I start my gratitude journal saying: Thank you for this day, I am truly blessed to be alive. We all know that tomorrow isn’t granted to everyone, so it’s important to be thankful for today.
When we’re going through something difficult, it can be challenging to be grateful. This is when it’s most important to do so.
A most recent example for me was when our dog passed. It was heartbreaking. How could I feel gratitude when my life felt so dark? My life felt dark because I was focusing on the loss instead of the time I had with our dog. Each time my mind led me to the final vet visit, I had to replace that with a happier brighter image. I’d put a stop sign up in my mind whenever I’d think of that final day. Instead, I’d recall the memory of our little dog stealing carrots out of the garden. I’d remember how she’d lift her legs as high as they could go when she was being lowered into water. Sometimes I’d replace it with the memory of how she’d look running across the yard. Or how she’d do anything for food.
I didn’t want that one horrible day to take away from the thirteen years of good memories. I didn’t want her death to be more prominent in my mind than all the love and joy she brought me. When I’d stop the dark thoughts and replace them with the happier ones, I felt instant relief. This allowed me to feel grateful for the many years we had with out little dog.
We’ve all gone through trying times. But not all of us realize that being grateful can help us overcome those times. Whatever you’re going through, realize that focusing on the negative aspect of it will make you feel bad. I know first hand how difficult it can be to rid yourself of those negative thought patterns. I know what it’s like to be so consumed with the darkness that you can’t see the light. I also know that even though we can’t always see the light, it’s always there. All we have to do is shift our thoughts.
If you can’t find the positive in a situation that you’re going through right now then focus on the basics in your life. Some how, some way, you’re reading this now. That means that you have access to the internet. Be grateful for that. One simple thing. Then find another and another. Set a goal to think about 5 or 10 things you’re grateful for. Write them out. Write out why you’re grateful for them as well.
When dealing with financial issues:
Be grateful for all the money you’ve had in the past – somehow, you’ve made it to today with the money you’ve had
Be grateful for the many creative ways you’ve thought of to get money (taking in bottles, rolling change, selling things or tightening your budget)
Be grateful for all the places that money comes from and all the ways it can come to you
When dealing with difficult people:
Try to find something in them to be grateful for
Be grateful that this difficult person is teaching you. They’re teaching you about yourself, your triggers, your patience or your level of compassion and understanding.
At the very least, a difficult person shows you exactly how you don’t want to be.
When dealing with health issues:
Be grateful for the parts of you that are healthy
Be grateful for the healing that is happening in your body
Be grateful you have a doctor
When dealing with negative self-talk:
Be grateful for one thing in your appearance
Be grateful for one thing in your personality
Be grateful for the people who help you see the good things in yourself
Today I encourage you to start practicing gratitude daily. Find a notebook or sit at your computer or write a note in your phone. Once a day, sit down and write out five or ten things you’re grateful for. No matter how small they seem. Be grateful you used your reward card and got a free coffee, be grateful when someone lets you into their lane, be grateful for the parking spot by the door, be grateful for your life. Go on Pinterest and search for ideas for your gratitude journal. Practice this daily for the next month and see how you feel.
Five to ten things for one month.
I can tell you that this practice has made a world of difference in my life. I’ve been doing it a long time. When I haven’t been able to write my gratitude list, I feel like I’m missing something.
The law of attraction states that you get what you think about. Ask yourself: “Do I want to attract more of these negative things into my life or more of the positive?” The way to attract the positive is by being grateful. Give it a try and feel free to let me know how you feel.
With much kindness,