Something I feel has made a big difference to me is gratitude. I used to feel bitter about the cards I was dealt and I would only focus on the negatives in my life. Then I heard about giving gratitude every day and to write it down. I ordered a book and started writing in it each morning when I woke up. At first I was thinking "I haven't got anything to write down, nothing good has happened to me" but then I realised that every thing in our day to day life is a gift, especially those things we take advantage off. After a while I got more comfortable with writing anything down that I could think of, and its ok to sit and think of random things to write down because I don't think its what you write as such but understanding that good things are happening that you can be grateful for.
There are three different types of things we can be grateful for and I try to pick one from each category every day. These are:
So these are things that are happening around us, things we do not control and do not directly affect us but we can be grateful for, like those beautiful flowers you walk past everyday that put a smile on your face or a lovely story you read about positive things happening around the world. It can be easy for us to go through our day without recognising what is around us, without appreciating the beauty of the natural world. Every day take some time out and really look what is around you or listen to the ocean or birds. When you really tune into the world we can then get it down on paper what we are thankful for, what we love about the world around us and this helps us to become more Mindful which is a topic in itself which I am sure I will cover in the future.
What have I made happen? What have I achieved that I am proud of? Have I helped someone with something they were struggling with? If so, I could be grateful I found compassion within. Did I overcome an illness? I could be grateful for my resilience and ability to fight. Now I know it is hard to analyse ourselves, so much of the time we put ourselves down and focus on the negatives but we really need to delve deep into ourselves to see what we are proud of. Now again there is no right or wrong answer and nothing is too cheesy to write down, I mean I don't show anyone my Gratitude book! The more you practice thinking of the good things about yourself the "bad" things will soon fade into the background, I do believe it is possible to train our minds to think differently about ourselves. I am still on that journey myself but I know it is possible and you should too!
I think this is probably the easiest if someone in your day has been courteous to you or really helped you out. We always recognise when someone is being nice to us and can be thankful for how they have positively effected our day. So in these circumstances then it is easy to write these lovely things down and write down how we were made to feel. Now what if nothing sticks out in your mind, there was no one that you felt really put themselves out for you today? Remember this can be anything that may affect your mood, maybe you saw someone do a good deed for someone else and this just gave you a little more hope in humanity. Or you could think more broadly like just how lucky you are to have your partner/mum/best friend etc. Now not everyone are great people that bring happiness into our lives each day, how about someone really pissed you off? Be grateful! I know this sounds crazy but sometimes someone's negativity can you show you how important it is to be positive. Someone who has walked out of your life means you can finally move on! Remember we can always turn negative situations into positive lessons.
Now obviously I don't stick to these every single day but they are a good basis to follow if I am struggling or just to get my mind working. I think gratitude is so important though and think everyone should give it a go, it honestly has made such an impact on my day to day life.
What are you grateful for and are you going to give this practise a go?