Do you want to live a truly satisfying life where you are at peace with yourself and everyone around you?
Gratitude makes life great
Well I´m going to assume you said yes to that question and I am going to tell you how.
It is not going to happen overnight. Changes take time and if you want changes that last than you have to truly put in the effort, and you have to do it yourself. A life where you are happy, and at peace with yourself can be dependent on anything outside your control. So forget about trying to change your spouse, parents, siblings, children, friends, co-workers or anyone else. This is about a change for you, by you.
So let´s just dive right in.
To change your life you need to add one ingredient :
“Count your blessings, not your troubles” is such a great quote from Roy T.Bennett from his book The Light in the Heart. What it basically means is that for every problem in your life there is always more to be grateful for. If you have a bed to sleep in and unlimited access to fresh water then you have something to be grateful for. Add to that that you woke up this morning and you were able to get out of bed unassisted, then that´s something to be grateful for.
Are you getting my drift? So the question is now how to put gratitude into your daily routine and more importantly how to be grateful when everything around you is falling apart. Well my advice is to start small and build up a daily routine.
How to be grateful ?
Three years ago when I started on the journey to change my life I was just shopping around for whatever worked. I tried different things, I looked in the mirror trying love what I saw. I shifted my focus away from negative thoughts whenever they would occur, and I tried very hard to be in the moment. This would help for a short moment and then nothing. Then two years ago I decided to write in a journal what I was grateful for at the end of the day. It would be something like: I am grateful that I didn´t have a migraine today, or I am grateful for my children, I am grateful for my family, I am grateful for my home. On really bad days I would write I am grateful that tomorrow is a new day. I did feel a change almost immediately because now my focus was on what I could be grateful for, so seeing flowers, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin would make me smile and feel better and I would write in my gratitude journal almost every night.
Fast forward two years later, I am still writing in the gratitude journal, feeling a lot more happy than I did before, but still feeling like there has to be more to this gratitude thing. So I started digging and I found out the missing link.
THE FEELING BEHIND THE GRATITUDE
It´s not what you say or write that changes your life for the better. It is the reason WHY you are grateful. And here is when the change happens. Every time you say, think or write down what you are grateful for you have to say why.
So when I say, or write ” I am grateful for the abundance of fresh water in my life because it keeps me healthy, and clean”. I say this almost every time I have the tap running for hot or cold water, and the feeling of gratitude washes ( no pun intended) right over me.
” I am grateful for my children because they are my greatest teacher”, ” I am grateful for my job because it allows me to contribute to society, because it allows me to interact with other people, because it enables me to provide for my family”.
I started to love my body when I became grateful for it. I couldn´t just look at myself and in the mirror and say that I loved that out of shape lump of blob that I saw. What I felt was gratitude because this body, my out of shape lump of blob created my children, kept them safe and nourished them for 9 months and made sure they made it into this world alive and well. I could look at my body and think, wow, you really did that and I would feel grateful. The same goes for everything I am grateful for, I don´t just pick random things, I am very specific when it comes to being grateful and I always include why.
I recommend starting small and picking something to do everyday for 28 days, that way it becomes a habit and it´s the habits that mould our lives, good or bad.
My start was beginning each day with writing 10 things I am grateful for and include why I am grateful. Do this, get up 15 minutes earlier and do this before you grab your phone and checking out your social media sites, it is best to do this when you can concentrate on only this.