By Karen Lang
Have you ever noticed, that when a room full of people are whingeing and complaining about life and someone says something positive, how that suddenly changes the entire mood of the room and makes everyone consider their next words.
Gratefulness is a gift. It can shift the most difficult moment or help overwhelming sadness come to a lighter place. Overtime, if you practice gratitude, you will find it is easy to see the good in every situation. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present.
In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.
“Sometimes we complain without thinking much of it, but the frightening thing about complaining is that every time we do, a cloud descends over our heart, and our hope, appreciation and joy gradually wane”.
Why is it that we wait until we have lost before we are grateful for what we had? In the face of adversity ask yourself: “What’s good about this situation I am in?”, “What can I learn from this?”, and “How can I benefit from this?” These are difficult questions to ask when you feel let down in life and yet, in becoming conscious of these questions we can shift our negative belief into a positive.
The first step is to become aware of how much you complain. Just for three days, make a conscious effort to see how many times you are not happy during the day. If you find it is more often than you were aware of, make a conscious effort to change your negative thoughts into grateful thoughts.
Have some perspective as well. Ask yourself, “Are you dying?” “Are your children dying?” and then reconsider how bad life is? We can learn a lot from the poorer countries, who always seem content even amongst the chaos of their environment. They grow up with so little and yet, are appreciative of the smallest blessing.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus
Life is a gift. The fact that people lose their loved ones everyday should awaken you to the fragility and preciousness of life. Every morning try letting the first words you say be”thankyou” and the last words you say before bed be “thankyou.”
Turn every situation into a gift of gratefulness and realise that even though some days are harder than others, everyday is another opportunity to start again.
“It is this sense of appreciation that elevates, enriches and expands the human spirit. A lack of gratitude is actually a sign of arrogance.” - Daiksu Ikeda