There’s a lot of advice to live life with an Attitude of Gratitude, but what does that mean?
For most of us, it may feel unnatural to express gratitude when in the middle of a situation which is dragging us down. Whether you’re in financial difficulty, or going through a break-up, or dealing with ill-health, these are all things which will make life seem dark and difficult.
Sometimes life is dark and difficult.
So how do you practice gratitude, no matter what life is throwing at you?
The real key to gratitude isn’t to say; “Oh, I guess I should be grateful that I didn’t die in that car accident, even though I have a whole bunch of broken bones to recover from.” (I mean, you CAN be grateful for things like that, but still…)
The key to gratitude is to accept that bad things can crop up and require overcoming, and to then go looking for other things to be grateful for.
Searching, noticing and being curious are the things which result in enjoyment. Enjoyment results in Gratitude, and the best news is, it doesn’t need to be something big or important.
You may be mentally fixated on problems at work, but if you can lift your mind out of that space for five minutes to go and find a flower in the local park, and notice that a bumble bee is making the rounds, you may just find something to enjoy.
Your body doesn’t have scale attached to emotions. You can’t be a little bit in love and you can’t be mildly angry. In the same way, you can’t have a tiny bit of enjoyment, unless you’re mixing it with negative emotions by thinking about the bad stuff while you’re supposed to be having fun.
The consequence of not completely allowing yourself to enjoy a moment is that the competing emotions will drag you down.
Emotions have a different mass to them, depending on how dense and heavy they are. Fear, anger, jealousy, sadness… they all weigh more than the lighter emotions such as love, joy and gratitude.
If you use more of your time and energy on feeling those heavy emotions, you will feel physically heavy and life will become as hard as carrying a boulder underwater.
If you can release some of those heavier emotions, usually by allowing yourself to feel the lighter ones, you can begin to shed the weight in your life.
You may be holding onto beliefs that you don’t deserve to be happy, or that it’s not possible for you be successful in your endeavors. It may be time to examine those beliefs and decide if they are worth keeping around or if they might have come from other people who held their own toxic beliefs in life.
You have complete control over your emotions, your beliefs and your decisions in life. The problem for most people is that they are blind to their inner programming and often experience their emotions in an unconscious way. There is no need to keep yourself back from doing what truly makes you fulfilled and happy, but you have to start being aware of what you’re feeling in order to change it.
Just start living in the present moment and you will begin to notice your belief programming kicking in, but you will also start to enjoy the smaller things around you. Then you get to choose which one you spend your time and energy on.