Gratitude: Focus on your blessings!

Gratitude: Focus on your blessings!

If you search you will always find a reason to practice gratitude. Whenever I’m feeling down, defeated and negative, I make the conscious effort to focus on every day small miracles. If I’m feeling fairly healthy, I thank God for my health. But if I’m having an intense migraine that day, even if my head feels like it’s being hit with a baseball bat (yes, they’re that bad), I try my very best to remind myself that it can be worse. I think of my loved ones who lost their battle to cancer, and my headache doesn’t overpower me as much. Doing this, makes me aware that I’m alive, that I can stand with the hope that it will go away because tomorrow I will have the chance to start again. Those times I start to feel antsy and start beating myself down for not reaching my long-term goals, I reminisce on small past achievements like when I backpacked throughout Europe OR recent small accomplishments, like completing my daily checklist and getting an A+ as a final grade…yayyy.  

However, there are times, especially when I’m PMsing (ladies can relate), when I feel everything is going wrong, and I just cannot think of anything positive. I then I return to the true basics. I focus on the miracle of being alive. My loved ones and kindred spirits who are no longer on this planet come to mind. Unfortunately, they died far too young, some tragically.  This focus on the miracle of life, get me back on track. That feeling of dissatisfaction, of not being good enough begins to vanish. I snap myself out of it in their honour. My life is not so bad after all.

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.

After all my conscious effort, I notice that I begin to regain my enthusiasm and my sassy self is back. I’m happier, STRONGER, better. My skin thickens around the hurtful and I’m ready to kick some ass with my stilettos. This is proof, that when one focuses on small miracles, the gateway to greater miracles OPEN WIDE. 

 In Praise of Gratitude, by Harvard Health Publications, reviews the mental health benefits of being grateful. It gives us some practical tips on how to cultivate a grateful state of mind. Below, I will include a brief list of tips to foster this virtue. Read the article for a more detailed explanation of  the benefits of gratitude for your overall well-being. This publication backs up their articles with research and case studies. The good news in this article is that the majority of case study participants who practiced gratitude became healthier, happier and more productive than their counterparts who didn’t. Check it out for yourself!

This Ted Talk (youtube link), by David Steindl Rast,  will help us learn to appreciate even the smallest things we take for granted on a daily basis. Davide Steindl Rast, a highly regarded monk, graciously explains that when we bring our awareness to the smallest things we take for granted on a daily basis like the water we drink and bathe with, being able to walk and run, having a roof over our heads… we will be happier. His belief is that it is grateful people who are the happiest, not the other way around.

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6 ways to foster gratitude 

  1. Write a thank-you note.
  2. Thank someone mentally.
  3. Keep a gratitude journal.
  4. Count your blessings. ( Each Friday, we will reflect on 3 events, people, aha moments for which we are grateful. You can tweet them and hashtag #gratitudefridays. This is a collective effort to cultivate positive energy within ourselves and spread it to the world. Together we can make the world a brighter place).
  5. Pray.
  6. Meditate

 

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Proactive steps:

blank notebook with black coffee mug on the right

It takes about 30 days to instil a positive habit. As a daily reminder, read this personal development goal. Do whatever it takes to make it visible. Take a pic of it, read it to your friends, save it. Then, hold yourself accountable by reflecting on your progress in a personal journal. Try your best to be bold and create healthy boundaries around haters, pessimists, envious people. Until you’re feeling stronger.  You can also add cable news to the fast. When it’s time to recharge your armour of power, you must free yourself  from toxic people as much as possible. Please share any tips you use to bring an attitude of gratitude to your life. When we share with others. we spread positivity.  

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