I've got your attention.
Let's begin, shall we??
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
This single word can change your life forever.
Let me explain.
Gratitude is what brings us joy.
We can only appreciate things that we are grateful for.
Without gratitude we have no reasons to be happy.
Gratitude practice trains your brain to be happier.
I'm from the US.
We are constantly bombarded by images of people and things that are better than us.
Celebrities that are more beautiful.
Individuals that are happier and more successful.
Things that we don't need and can barely afford.
There is a reason for this
Modern marketers have become VERY good at leveraging our primal emotions to motivate us to buy products.
When you watch a car commercial you see beautiful people that are smiling and living a wonderful, exciting life ...
What does that have to do with the car??
They are leveraging our innate desire for success, acceptance and happiness and connecting that idea with their brand and their product.
A similar thing happens when we use social media.
Social media highlights peoples top experiences.
No one posts of picture of themselves when they look ugly or when they are feeling down.
When we scroll through our news feeds we are seeing the top 1% of someones life.
This "hyper-density" of positive experiences can make us feel not so good... Especially when we have to live the whole 100% of our lives, not just the social media worthy moments.
Now you see
We have found ourselves in a society that trains us to be discontent.
It trains us to crave the newest and the best.
It trains us to never be happy.
It's not your fault ...
but it is your responsibility.
Fortunately, the solution is simple.
If we are constantly bombarded by "anti-gratitude", all we need to do is give ourselves a daily dose of the opposite.
Let me give you a personal example
A year ago I was scrolling through my Instagram feed ...
I stumbled upon a post by a young women that I was quite interested in.
She was telling her personal story of gratefulness and how a simple gratitude journal had changed her life
I thought to myself ...
If she is doing a gratitude journal ... and I start a gratitude journal ... maybe she will like me!!
as we now see, social media is good for some things :P
That day changed my life
From then on I chose to take time to give thanks, every day.
I made it simple for myself.
I would write one page, every day.
At first it was challenging
I wasn't grateful for that many things.
I had to fake it.
When I ran out of things that I felt grateful for, I started writing things that I thought I should be grateful for.
Eventually, I began to notice a change
It didn't happen over night.
There were many days when I begrudgingly worked through my exercise.
Yet, I was committed.
sooner than I had expected ...
I noticed a change.
I would wake up in the morning and just feel happy.
I would notice moments in my day where I was simply grateful to be alive.
I started acting with more compassion and I began to enjoy each aspect of my life that much more.
It turns out this woman had not been lying.
A simple gratitude journal radically changed my life.
It's been about a year now and I still journal every day.
It's so important to me that I take my journal with me everywhere.
Now, I know it doesn't seem like much ...
but it really works.
When we write down the things we are grateful for we are actually rewiring the brain.
Over time, we start to redefine how valuable things are to us.
Simply writing down what we are grateful for leads to a cumulative, lasting change in our physical brain and mental state.
Let me lead you on an experience
Ask yourself this one question.
How grateful am I to be alive??
To keep it simple lets use a score of 0-10.
Record your answer and keep moving.
Now, I want you to think about your life.
Think about all of the things you have.
Literally all of them.
Your clothes, your cell phone, the place you live.
The food in your fridge, the city around you, the electricity running through your walls.
Take a moment to consider how much you really have.
Let's take it up a notch
Imagine what your life would be like if you were born 100 years ago.
WW1 has just ended and you are probably poor.
What if you were born 250 years ago?
They didn't even have light bulbs?
500 years ago?
You probably wouldn't even have had running water!
And if it's really too far out to grasp, try reading this account of daily life in the 1600's
Take a moment and let all of this sink in.
Ask yourself one more time.
How happy am I to be alive??
Did your answer change?
It bet it did.
That is the power of perspective.
That is the power of our mind.
We get to choose how happy we are at any moment.
It takes work, but you can cultivate a mindset of positivity and gratitude.
Gratitude is a skill.
It is something that must be cultivated.
If you do not use this muscle it will dissipate over time.
A daily gratitude journal is an easy way to cultivate gratitude and create lasting change.
As a bit of an extra incentive, I will start giving out upvotes to people who tag their posts with #dailygratitude
You can change your whole life with this simple exercise ...
and, by changing your life, you will
change the whole world
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