How often do you think about what you have in life? Life can come at you fast, it’s very easy to enter auto-pilot mode and not slow down to take a deep breath and smell the roses. Our minds are so fast to operate and dominate our days in a negative way that it’s very easy to go weeks in a row without thinking about something very important, that would be gratitude.
What comes to mind when I say the word, gratitude? It can be defined as,’ the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.’. Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can truly inspire someone and keep them motivated. I have found personally however that it is not a very organic feeling. I need to truly be aware of my thinking and steer it towards gratitude to feel it usually.
Why is that? I wish I had the answer, I just know that unfortunately for me, my mind is a mostly negative place and I need to take actions to counteract that negativity. The actions are very simple however and usually the most simple one is to take a moment to write down what I am grateful for in life.
What are you grateful for in life?
I love the warm feeling that takes over me when I stop to ask myself and think about it. At nearly 5 years sober I have built a special life and that means I have very important people in my life that I will be forever grateful for. When my days are going in a bad direction and I need something to turn me around, I simply list out my gratitude. It just completely induces positive thinking.
Gratitude can also:
●Increase your self-esteem
●Lower your anxiety
●Help you with stress
●Keep you motivated
Another bad habit I fall into often is taking things for granted. There are days where I obsess about my trivial small-time problems and can not stop thinking about them when I will be hit with a realization that years ago I would of killed to have the problems I have today. Staying in check with my gratitude every day can keep me from taking things for granted.
Whenever I help out a newcomer, I make sure they instill gratitude into their lives as the ultimate relapse prevention plan. It’s one thing to sit and think about what you are grateful for, but gratitude is also an action word.
How so? Well feeling grateful can inspire you to want to do things for other people. Whether it’s for someone you appreciate or someone who you think could use the help and positivity. It is extremely fulfilling to go out of your own way and do something selfless for someone because you feel grateful.
Find out yourself how you can insert gratitude into your everyday life. It’s something that can breathe new, refreshing energy into your everyday routine and can just keep things in perspective in a big way.
If you’re having a down day, reach out to someone you are very thankful for and let them know how much they mean to you and how much you value the friendship/relationship you share. It’s simple actions like these, that don’t take a lot of time, that can completely change the direction your day is going in.
Find what gratitude means to you and do your best to involve it in your daily life.