This is the time of year when were reminded to be kind and good and most of all, grateful. If youre reading this, then youre probably like most of us; you have a lot to be grateful for. Why is it so hard to stay in a conscious state of gratefulness about everything thats good in our lives?
1. Time & Habit:Were so busy!
We got our morning routines, lists, schedules, meetings, appointments etc. Our daily habits are grounded in whatever it takes to get us from one moment to the next. Rarely do we consciously take the time to say, you know what, this day was pretty great. We’re not bad people but weve simply forgotten to make time to be grateful.
Try this: Create natural gratitude triggers. These are things that you do naturally during the day that can remind you to do something else. For example, when your feet touch the floor when you get out of bed in the morning, say thank you. be grateful! When you pay a bill, say thank you. When you pay for your groceries, say thank you. I think you get the idea. Before you know it, this practice will become a habit, one you will soon be grateful for!
2. Complaining is contagious!
First, one person starts, then another, then another and there we are all together, one in our misery!
Try this: Walk away, offer a solution to the problem or a reason to be grateful: When you find yourself about to become a part of a complaining session, slowly but intently step away from the conversation. If you have to, just say you have to go or you have something you gotta do. If this is too uncomfortable or not possible, just decide not to participate or
3. You’re actually an ungrateful person.
It’s ok, well… not really but I understand. Sometimes life can be so riddled with challenges and it can seem like there is no room or reason for gratefulness.
Try this: We tend to feel most unhappy when we are constantly focused on the massiveness of the big picture and thinking much too far ahead. Instead, zoom in. Focus on one small piece of the challenge at a time. When you can minimize the scope of a challenge, then you can minimize the steps that you need to take to complete one small thing first. Continue your approach in this way and you’ll soon find that there is plenty of room and reason to be grateful.
4. You’ve become complacent
Life’s been good or maybe just ok. And besides you’re not sure to who or what you’re supposed to be grateful to! I mean, you’re the one working hard every day paying the bills and making it happen. There’s no fairy coming down from nowhere doing it for you.
Try this: Rediscover AWEsomeness. Go to the ocean, visit the mountains, watch a sunrise or stare at the moon and the stars. Breathe, take it all in. If you do it right, the AWEsomeness of it all will remind you of your place in the universe and that it is love and gratitude that sustain us.
5. You’ve been spared.
Have you ever watched the news and seen someone after a devastating storm out scavenging outside of what use to be their home? Even though we will all experience loss and disappointment in our life, most of us have been and will be spared life’s most devastating experiences like the tragic and immediate loss of a loved one or the sudden and dramatic loss of everything we own. And because of this we can take for granted what is today, constant and in place.
Try this: It’s all a gift. Volunteer or donate regularly to organizations that assist those who have experienced great and overwhelming loss. This will remind you that every day and all that it contains is a gift. Be grateful for it and say thank you!
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