By Paula Bianchi –
I became aware of the importance of gratitude during my first round of therapy. Even though I had read a lot of metaphysical books by then, I still hadn’t applied the idea of living in a state of gratitude. Again, this was a perfect example that the choice was mine to make, and it was time to make it. When I finally gave in to the importance of gratitude, my life changed because now I viewed it in a different light.
It’s hard coming to terms with the things that have happened to us when we’re young. All the negative dialog it leaves in our heads can seem insurmountable. It becomes a part of our norm, and we fall into its vicious cycle. What we think on the inside effects everything in our lives from our jobs, to our family life, to our social life, to what we think and feel about ourselves. Our inner dialog orchestrates it to the point where all we can see and experience is a mirrored representation of ourselves from the outside world. People can sense the energy we’re putting out there. The people with like energy, who think like us or have the same things in common, will be drawn to us, bringing with them all their drama and negativity to add on top of ours.
The first and easiest step you can take to change your life, is to redirect your negative thoughts to thinking about what you’re grateful for, instead of the negative self-defeating thoughts that spin in your head all day long. The first moment you think, “I hate this or that,” I want you to take a step back and look through the eyes of gratitude. What is it about that person or event that you can find to be grateful for? Depending on the level of negativity you’re acting from, at first, your emotions may keep you from finding anything to be grateful for, but you can’t give up. Make yourself find it, then pat yourself on the back when you do.
We are our thoughts. If we’re not happy with how things are going in our lives, we can’t blame it on everything that’s happening around us or to us. Our attitude and reaction to the things that are out of our control, dictates everything. Living in a state of gratitude, can make us see things with a better perspective.
There’s one group of people who can find this very challenging though, and I don’t blame them. Who are these people? They’re the ones who live with daily chronic pain. It’s very difficult for them to think about anything else but their pain. How can you not? Most of us, after seeing a doctor, can heal, and be pain free again. People who are chronic pain sufferers, can only dream of that scenario, and they do each and every time they seek out a solution to their problem, they hope it’s finally an end to their suffering. It can take a lot of mental work, but these people could reach a happy medium by adding some kind of gratitude in their lives. If for nothing else, but the feeling that it gives you.
There are so many things in life that we take for granted and never feel gratitude for like; our loved ones, close friends, kids, material things, and health. If you can’t take the time to appreciate what you have, how will you ever enjoy the better things that may come?
When I first started living in a state of gratitude, I started writing down, in my gratitude journal, five things I was grateful for each day. I challenged myself to find new things to be grateful for, so I wasn’t just repeating the same thing over and over. It didn’t take long for me to use up all the obvious things to be grateful for such as: your spouse or girl/boyfriend, kids/grandkids, house, car, and other material things, and my health or my families. Now, I really had to think about what I was grateful for.
Then one day, my focus turned to people’s actions. I would be grateful for something my husband did for me, or how he made me feel. I was grateful to the lady at the store who let me, with my one item, go ahead of her in line. I feel gratitude when a friend has my back and helps me fight the negativity coming at me.
The next thing I applied gratitude to was how I made others feel. Feeling gratitude for putting a smile on someone’s face, to me, is the best kind of gratitude. This in turn made me act kindly toward others while looking for opportunities to help them. In stores, I let people go ahead of me, or I’ll help them get things they can’t reach, or I’ll direct them to what they’re looking for.
When I’m driving, I let people merge in front of me, and I try to keep my temper when negative people cut me off. Having a negative attitude, only hurts me not them. When this would happen, I would write that I was grateful for holding my temper.
I’m grateful for all the people who are just doing their jobs when I cross their path. I try my best to give these people a positive experience during their daily grind. I make it my goal to be pleasant and put a smile on their face. The checkout clerk at the grocery store, the beautician who cuts my hair, the server in a restaurant, the medical assistant/phlebotomist and doctor who take care of my health, all these people deserve to have a positive experience with you, not a horror story. We all need to be grateful for these people. Even the negative ones. I won’t allow myself to sink to their level, but I still smile at them even when they don’t deserve it. Kindness is my weapon of choice now. Kill them with kindness.
Through being mindful of my thoughts and actions, I live in a constant state of gratitude. Because of this, I no longer feel the need to journal about it anymore. It just comes naturally. Now, I would have too many things to write down that I’m grateful for.
I credit two things for helping me take control of my thoughts. Being grateful and reciting the Serenity Prayer. I no longer focus on the things that are out of my control. Just this alone, has lifted a tremendous weight off my shoulders.
So, be grateful for all that you have in your life. The people, animals, material things, job, and health, all need to be fully appreciated. Just be grateful.
In my next Mind Games article, I’ll write about death. Thank you for the visit. Hope to see you again next time. Bye for now.