There’s a small habit that you can practice, that can turn difficult situations into much better ones — and it won’t surprise you. It’s the habit of gratitude.
This is such a simple habit, and it’s one that we often forget to practice. But when we do, it can transform our entire perspective, and with it our whole life.
When you’re feeling down, and also feeling generally stressed, about situations like being broke or hating your job or unhappy with my health and you’re bit depressed about it all, make a mental list of everything you’re grateful for. It might be a very long list and might look like this:
• I am alive.
• I can taste delicious food, smell flowers, see art, and hear music. What miracles!
• I have friends.
• I can run.
• I can love.
• I can pick mangoes from the huge tree in my yard.
• I can read novels, my dearly beloved novels!
• I am not starving, homeless, destitute, alone, destroyed by a natural disaster.
• I’m married to a loving, supportive spouse(for those who are married)
• I have wonderful kids (for those who have kids).
• I am employed.
• I am relatively healthy
• I have loving family (parents, siblings, extended family) who I love dearly.
• I live on a tropical island where the rain is actually refreshing when you’re sweating from the heat
The list can be probably 4-5 times as long, but you get the idea. The things you were taking for granted are then put front and center before you. The things you are feeling bad about will not go away automatically, but they will be put in perspective. They will be blended with more powerful elements of your life into a mix that is ultimately true beauty and love.
Yes, there are bad things in your life, and it’s OK to feel bad about them. But it’s also important to remember the rest of your life, and to remember that even the bad things make life as complex and interesting as it is. Life would be boring without challenges!
The transformation of how you feel about your life can really be remarkable. All by making a simple list.
I’ve used this process hundreds of times, and it transforms everything:
• When I’m feeling mad at someone, I can try to see what about them I’m grateful for.
• When I procrastinate with a project, I can look at why I’m grateful to be able to work on that project.
• When I get injured or sick, I can remember that I’m grateful just to be alive.
• When I lose a love one, I can grieve, but also be grateful for the time I had with them, and all that they gave me.
• When something bad happens while traveling, I remember to be grateful for traveling at all, and that these challenges are what make the travel an adventure.
• When someone doesn’t like what I do, and criticizes me, I can be grateful they care enough to even pay attention. Attention is a gift.
I’d like to make a small recommendation that could be powerful if you often forget to practice gratitude: start a small daily habit.
Just a few minutes per day of journaling, meditating on gratitude, or just thinking about what you’re grateful for in life. Do it every day, with a reminder, and see if it changes anything.
Don’t rush through it, don’t do it mindlessly, really try to feel gratitude for everything you list. Feel the amazingness of the things in your life.
I dare you to be complacent about life after doing that.