The fine art of being grateful.
Living in a state of gratitude is single-handedly the most important change I made in my personal development 3yrs ago. When I first heard of the concept of daily gratitude my ego instantly reacted and I recoiled from the thought. For me, it was an association with religion and also years of having a permanently angry and negative mindset.
Gratitude literally changed my life.
Generally, as human beings, we tend to focus on the negative things in our lives or the things we haven't got. We also lean towards comparing our lives against the lives of others and living in a state of 'the grass is always greener' This is not healthy.
Neither does it make you happy.
The past 12 months for me have been some of the most challenging in my 32yrs on this planet. I faced the terminal illness and death of an important and loved family member, brand new business challenges I didn't think possible and the breakdown of my long-term relationship which has left me semi-homeless (more on that later as it's a work in progress) all of the above is enough to give you a mental breakdown.
Except I haven't had a mental breakdown.
Yes, I have had my moments, days of endless tears and a constant feeling of foreboding. My anxiety has desperately battled for my attention. Not once though have I given up or stopped believing in myself or my goals. Whatever life has hit me with I have faced it down and made decisions that are best for my long-term future and I have done it all mostly with a positive mindset.
It's something so small, so small people scoff at it. How can something so simple be so effective? It's not as simple as what people think. The actual practice is but sticking with it, working the muscle and the actual changing of your mindset is bloody hard work and takes consistency.
So how does it help?
Living in a state of gratitude changes everything. It opens up your mind to see challenges and struggles (the usual suspects for negative mindset to thrive in) as something good, it allows you to see opportunity where you didn't think there was any, it makes you feel like you have everything you possibly need to be happy when previously you felt like you had nothing and it brings you back to the present moment when you most need to be there.
So how do you do it?
As I said it's the easiest thing in the world to practice. The difficulty is in being consistent and also bringing it into every moment of every day.
It's up to you whether or not you do the practice in the morning or the evening or maybe both (I do on occasion) Simply every day at whatever time you like write down three things you're grateful for. They do not need to be massive things, neither do you need to write down why.
Just three things.
Here is mine for today:
I am grateful for the love and support I receive from my family, friends and clients.
I am grateful for the audiobook I am reading at the moment.
I am grateful that I am going to view a potential home today and for the things that fell into place for that to happen.
The next stage which I found happened very naturally after doing this practice for a month is to be able to naturally find things to be grateful for in every moment throughout the day even when everything feels like it's going horribly wrong.
It really is life changing, so simple and totally free to do so what would stop you?