It’s easy to drift into focusing on the negative, on problems, and on what isn’t working in your life. Especially as most of us are currently in the deep throes of this pandemic.
But what you focus on expands. So focusing on the negative and on your problems only gets you more of that, not the enjoyment and fulfillment in life you long for.
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If you could use a little improvement in your attitude, you may find that gratitude could be very helpful.
True gratitude isn’t the act of mechanically listing the blessings in our lives every night before we go to sleep.
Gratitude is an Attitude.
It’s a mindset of thankfulness and joy for the wonderful blessings in our lives. Our hearts and minds are lifted in joy when we reflect on the beauty and love surrounding us. It’s a heartfelt acknowledgement that our lives would not be as happy as they are now if we didn’t have those blessings.
Okay, so maybe not everything in our lives is perfect right now. Again; pandemic.
Honestly, even in the best of times, gratitude can be hard to foster when we are also experiencing struggle at the same time.
Maybe we’ve lost a job or, even worse, a loved one. Maybe we have difficult financial struggles. Maybe we’re mired in depression and sadness.
It’s hard to feel grateful during moments like that.
Gratitude or appreciation of what we already have is necessary to attract things we want.
Every day when you wake up try to be thankful. Think about the good things in your live you should be thankful for. Appreciate your job (even if you don’t like it).
Feel gratitude for a place to live.
If you have some food, some friends or anything else you can find to appreciate, appreciate it. A lot of people don’t have enough even basic things like food, water and their own place to live.
It’s natural that you want more, that you want to improve your standard of life, but first you need to feel gratitude for what you already have.
If you start your day with feelings of gratitude you will feel good and you can keep that feeling all day.
Psychologists, spiritual teachers, writers, and researchers say that gratitude can:
- Increase your energy and optimism
- Shift your focus to what has gone well or delighted you
- Help you not take things for granted
- Make you more resilient to life’s hassles and stress
- Encourage your satisfaction with life
- Increase your compassion
- Enrich your experience of life
- Increase your happiness and well being
- Improve your health
So how do you incorporate more gratitude into your life? Try a daily gratitude practice of some kind.
For instance, you could:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Each night write five things for which you are grateful.
- Give thanks for one thing for which you’ve never before been consciously grateful each night before going to bed.
Making the practice a part of your daily routine will regularly focus your attention on gratitude.
Knowing you’ll be doing this each evening will raise your awareness and attention throughout the day.
“Oh, I need to remember that tonight.”
“What am I going to be grateful for this evening?”
To begin playing with the practice of gratitude, here are two more suggestions.
- Start with a big infusion of gratitude. Take 5 or 10 or even 30 minutes right now. Write as many things as you can think of for which you are grateful. Notice how writing this list changes your energy.
- Choose a daily practice (see above) and play with it for two weeks. Notice how this practice affects you. See if this is a gratitude practice you’d like to continue or if you’d like to try another one.
Take time to really reflect on the good things in your life; every day. Really let yourself feel the goodness and love surrounding you.
Be intentional in your attitude of gratitude and see how it changes your life.