What are you grateful for?
Take a second and think about it. Really think. Your family and their health probably come first, right? Then your home and your job, whatever that job may be (even if it sucks). Right?
But then what?
Some days it may take a little more thought. You know the type. For me it was this morning, when I got splashed by a passing car in the pouring rain and my pants were soaked through.
These are the days when gratitude is a challenge.
One concept I keep coming across in all of my studying is the importance of having an attitude of gratitude – for all things. Even the things that seem crappy at first glance.
The tricky part is retraining your brain to pick up on the things to be grateful for by seeing beyond the surface. Most of us are habitually negative without even noticing it. We get annoyed by people holding up a line we’re in, or at having to spend money on an unforeseen repair. We’re in such a hurry to get to the next thing that we don’t notice now.
One way to change your attitude is to keep a gratitude journal. There’s a great iPhone app for it which I use every day, throughout the day. At first I’d write things like “I’m grateful for the beautiful weather”, or “I’m so glad it’s Friday”. And these are totally legitimate things to be thankful for (especially the Friday part).
Now, though, I’m trying to go deeper. Instead of being irritated at shelling out money for new glasses, I wrote “I’m grateful to have the money to be able to buy new glasses without thinking about it – we’re so blessed”. Other examples: “I’m grateful for feeling so happy today”…”I’m grateful for the inspiration that keeps flowing my way”…”I’m thankful for the people who remind me to not take myself so seriously”.
This kind of thinking works on two levels. First, it encourages a shift in focus which can lift your spirits instead of crushing them. This good feeling trickles down through all areas of your life, and only good things can come from that.
The second level is even better: When you feel grateful, the universe hands you more and more things to be grateful for.
In a clip I listened to yesterday, Louise Hay put it like this: If someone gives you a gift and you complain about it and show no gratitude, what are the chances that this person will ever give you a gift again? Meanwhile, if you praise the gift and the person giving the gift and show how happy you are, this person is going to want to keep giving you more and more.
Doesn’t that make sense? The universe (God, Higher Power, Holy Spirit – whatever you call It) wants to give us things that bring us joy and abundance. What we give thanks for, we receive more of. So if we live in a state of peaceful, happy gratitude (and are certain of why we feel this way), we’ll be blessed with more and more.
Give it a try. Find the blessing in everything. You’ll start coming up with all sorts of things to be grateful for. And you’ll never be sorry you did.
What are you grateful for? Can you think of ways to turn an irritation into a blessing?