Sometimes we can easily arrive at the erroneous conclusion that we are not grateful for things around us because life is not providing us with assets that we should be grateful for. However, our lack of gratitude comes clearly from ignorance, and if we paid attention to what assets lie around us for real, we will truly see that there is just a myriad of things that we can be grateful for if we know how to be so.
Gratitude is a characteristic of an individual that is truly beneficial, provided it is not a fake one. What is making gratitude even better is that it is not dependent on your life circumstances or on how you have been raised, but you and only you. Gratitude can be learned, or rather thought for your brain, and it is definitely worth doing so.
“Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer
There are several ways or techniques to acquire the ability to be grateful and in this blog entry, we are simply investigating our possibilities.
1. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is a wonderful way of teaching your brain how to be grateful for what you have or you are exposed to. But what to write in a gratitude journal? Well, have you ever had a broken bone? Have you ever felt how bad it is to be unable to use your limbs due to an injury? There you go. You can be grateful for something just as simple as the ability to tie your shoes, once your hand has been in cast for several weeks. How easy is that?
2. Have a morning session of gratitude
Have an in-built one minute in your morning routine when you remember things from the previous day that can make you feel grateful. It can be the cashier smiling at you when giving you the change or something as simple as the scent of spring being blown around by a light draft. Make this one minute a routine, a safe point in your day when you only concentrate on positive things.
3. Be grateful for challenges
Have you realized that how easily we can get annoyed if our jobs throw challenges into our way? It is so easy to drop an F-bomb and complain about how difficult our daily routine has become. Instead, why not focus on the perks that a challenge can come with? On the one hand, overcoming a challenge will enhance your professional abilities. A challenge always means you need to come up with a new sort of solution. At the same time, a challenge can drag you out of the boring routine of your everyday habits, bringing some excitement into your life. And last but not least, once you have tackled a challenge you can be truly proud of yourself. Embrace challenges that you meet and be grateful for them.
4. In tragedy, focus on positivity
Tragedy is all over the world. It can reach out to you anytime, with no preceding signs. And I know, sometimes it is really hard to overcome a tragedy, it can easily feel that you cannot get out of this never-ending spiral. But mourning so long about the things of people you have lost will just ruin your life, and you are not entitled to such a thing. Additionally, you are much stronger than that! Whatever happens, you will always be in a situation that you can say “Well it could be worse”. Embrace this idea and focus on the things that you still have and that you can still do. Be grateful for what you have left after the tragedy and focus your attention on these things and/or people.
5. Remember: Life DOES NOT owe you anything, period.
We tend to focus on what we do not have, blame life for not giving us the same opportunities as compared to others who might be driving fancy cars or riding fancy jets. Do not forget that life does not in any circumstances owe you anything. And yes, you might work your guts out and get less than people who have always worked casually. But that is just simply life. Instead of condemning your life for all the things you do not have, focus on the things you do have and be grateful for that. There are gazillions of people around the world who would be happy to have what you have.
“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” – Dalai Lama