I once read somewhere that there was one simple thing we could do that is guaranteed to make us feel happier. Not pills, shrinks, or fancy techniques that are easy to talk about but hard to put into practice, but gratitude. Plain and simple. It may seem counter intuitive to be grateful when you are in a bad place and you feel you have nothing to be grateful for but let me explain.
Often it’s difficult to feel grateful for anything when everything seems to be going wrong in our lives. In times like these don’t beat yourself up if you feel you can’t be genuinely grateful. First acknowledge and accept where you are right now, and that might be in a place of anger, bitterness or sadness and hopelessness. Once you become aware even of how you are feeling you will feel better because you are confronting your negative feelings head on and oddly enough this diminishes their power and makes room for you to move on from them.
In a seemingly negative situation, is a hidden lesson. To be able to get through it and learn from it might be painful but unfortunately sometimes the bad things happen to us are out of our control. The only thing we can control is how we react to them.
When you are going through a difficult situation, think how is this experience helping you to grow – is it teaching you to not rely on other people, external sources to make you happy? Is it making you aware that you need to work on yourself? Is it making you a stronger, more resilient person? If you introspect what do you find? Many a time, we cannot appreciate the value of a negative situation and what they have to teach us, at the time. Only in hindsight do we realize how the experience has helped us grow to become who we are now. We are the result of all our experiences, both good and bad.
So if you are going through a hard time, try to become aware of the bigger picture and see how the problems of today will be nothing but a remnant of the past, in the future. Know that this too shall pass, and that where you are now is not where you will be, pain is temporary. Ask yourself what you can learn from this experience, be grateful for what the situation has bought to your awareness as difficult as it is. Allow yourself to be truthful, vulnerable enough to look within.
Perhaps the experience has made you more attuned with your emotions, more compassionate, revealed your true self to you? And all those things are things to be grateful for, no matter how painful the lesson was to learn.
Once you can see a bigger picture you will find something to be grateful for, and then you can begin to heal and move on from pain. When you are in a better place, gratitude comes easily and you can begin to express gratitude for the things in your life.
Every day write down and express all the things you are grateful for whether it be the clothes you wear, the roof over your head, the money for means of survival. At first the things you come up with may seem forced, disingenuous and irrelevant but you must keep trying because the more you express gratitude, the easier it will become. Eventually something will change and you will really start to feel grateful and amazing things will happen in your life.
You have to work for your happiness but it works.
And the strange thing is, the more grateful you are the more good things come into your life – people, kindness, opportunities. There is something so powerful about expressing your gratitude; profound enough to produce real, astonishing changes. Practicing gratitude cultivates a mindset of acceptance, humility and love.
Find all the things in your life you can be grateful for, the more personal (despite how small) the better. No matter how mundane your day is, there is something you can be truly grateful for. Find the feeling of gratitude and feel it with your heart. Let yourself feel good.
21 09 Happy birthday mommy~
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