Practicing Gratitude

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As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I am an avid quote “searcher”. I LOVE exploring different means and sources to find that one quote that really resonates with me and gets me to think about things on a deeper level.
The other day I ended up stumbling upon one that really hit me…

 

“To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have.” – Ken Keyes

If we’re being honest with ourselves, I think we can all admit that we are ALL guilty of this- at least from time to time. We see people that have more successful jobs, bigger houses, nicer cars, who are more fit than us… the list goes on, and on, and on. Whatever it is that we are honing in on that someone else has, that we are bothered by because we don’t, it causes a sense of envy and jealousy in us.

But, more often than not, we do not think of the things that we may possess that other people may feel the same way about.

And even more frequently, we take these things for granted. What about all the things we actually DO have?

Our friends, family, pets, our cars (whether it’s the exact make and model you want, is not really the issue as long as it can get you from point A to point B)…

There are so many things we have to be thankful for. But sometimes we need a reality check to recognize that. One thing I have personally started doing recently is actively and consciously practicing gratitude

I read that counting your blessings, and saying out loud to yourself all of things that you DO have that you are thankful for can help promote happiness and a sense of accomplishment. Truth be told, I thought it sounded a little silly at first. How can talking to yourself about the things that you ALREADY have, make you appreciate them any more? Well, unfortunately, I honestly don’t know the answer to that… all I know is, that for me, it does!

Maybe it’s because, when we do this, we are forcing ourselves to acknowledge all of the positives in our lives instead of honing in on the detractors. Whatever the scientific reasoning behind it may be, I’m not aware of it; all I know is that, personally, practicing this has positively affected my life.

So give it a try. And if you feel like you can’t think of the things that you should be thankful and grateful for… that’s all the more reason TO practice this exercise. Maybe at first you’ll only be able to come up with a few things, and that’s FINE. But, before you know it, you’ll more than likely have a whole list of things to be thankful for !

Things that usually rank at the top of my list are: the good health of my friends and family, my awesome support system, my pets, knowing I have food and shelter to come home to, an improving personal health, and waking up every morning.

And that is just the beginning of my list! But like I said, at the beginning, if this is not something you are used to doing, you don’t have to feel angry or upset with yourself, or your life, if you can’t come up with a long list, or even just more than one thing. It’s not that you don’t have more than one thing to be thankful for, it’s just that you may not even realize (yet) all the positive things in your life.

So why not give it a shot? It won’t strain your day, or cause an issue for all the other things that you have to get done before it’s time to sleep… As a matter of fact, you can do this right before you decide it’s time for sleep! That’s what I do. But, no matter when you decide during your day to do it, promise yourself to give it your full attention and effort, and I bet you will see results over time.

Gratitude is a skill you’ll be happy to have acquired.

 

– Virginia Johnson

 

Are you struggling with practicing gratitude, or do you feel as if you have trouble staying positive, or are you just interested in talking to someone about things going on in your life because you simply feel that you do not  as you should? Sometimes having a partner in your journey can help. Give us a call  to set up a free phone consultation at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378, and one of our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Life Coaches, Orlando Teen Counselors, and Orlando Child counselors would be more than happy to help you, a family member, or a friend work on changing your life.

Virginia