Gratitude is a state of mind that comes from really appreciating what you have already and being thankful for it. If you can truly look at your life and everything in it and be grateful, you are much more likely to be content, and to attract more of the same to yourself in the future.
If you are someone who has spent a long time being miserable, or envious, or sad, or grieving, or jealous, gratitude can be very difficult to find. Perhaps you grew up in a household filled with hatred, illness, bitterness or quarrels, and so your default position is far removed from grateful and content. When you have been conditioned to think that any of the above is normal, it can be very challenging to change your beliefs and unlearn your default emotional settings.
At the beginning of the gratitude journey, it can be extremely hard to find things to be grateful for, and let go of the pain. However, one really good trick is to start a notebook and have it by your bed, and each night try to find ten things to be grateful for that have happened to you that day. When you start, it may be simple things like “I did not crash the car today when I was driving”, or “I ate enough food today to keep me from starving”, or “I have a job that pays my bills even if I do not love it”.
It could be that you are grateful for all the people who worked hard in order for you to be able to eat your dinner tonight- the farmers, the packers, the drivers, the supermarket shelf stockers, the cashiers and so on. Or it could be all those who contributed to your cup of coffee, or provided the electricity.
As you fill up your notebook day by day, you will end up with a stack of books in the corner that are full of everything you are grateful for, and on days when you are feeling down, you can see all the things you have to be grateful for in your life.
Many hundreds of people in one day all work so that you can drive your car, iron your shirts and live your life as you choose. However, when we are in ungratefulness, we cannot see all the support that surrounds us on a daily basis, nor can we see all the help that we give to others.
Another great trick is to go on a gratitude walk and spend the entire walk looking for things to be grateful for- the beautiful trees, birds, grass, ponds, your family, friends, your hobbies….there are many things that you can be grateful for if you choose to be.
As you get further into your gratitude journey, you begin to understand that actually life is a gift and that there is always something to be grateful for. Even when the situation does not go the way you would like it to, you can learn to be grateful for the lesson and the growth that the situation is teaching you.
This is very different to the poor me and why does this always happen to me mindset, where we are victim to an unfeeling world that is out to get us. Gradually we learn that events occur in life to everyone and some are good and some are not so good, but none of them are personal, they just happen. We continue to learn and grow, all the while knowing that we will survive to live another day, most of the time.
Gratitude for all that you are means that you no longer spend your time giving energy to your jealousy, resentment, anger, or bitterness. You instead funnel your energy into love, peace, and tolerance for all that is, and rejoice in your new found freedom from pain and misery.
Written by Caroline Nettle
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