ost of us felt at some point in our lives that things are not exactly as they should be. We all have ups and downs, and many times we look outwards with envy, and inwards with disappointment. This has always been the case, but due to the enormous economic and technological growth in the last decades, more and more people struggle with anxiety and depression. Social media and online advertisement continuously shows us the best version of life and gives us the feeling that anything less than a “dream-life” is a failure.
The purpose of my writing is to invite you on a journey to a better version of yourself. A journey to a more fulfilling life, where you are in control, and you decide what your future will look like. To begin, the first step is to start practicing gratitude.
In this article I’ll show you why this is so important, how you can do it, and I’ll show you a couple of things to be grateful for.
The Importance of Gratitude
My favorite YouTube channel (Kurzgezagt – In a Nutshell) posted a video a while ago, in which they present the importance of gratitude. As they put it: Gratitude is the Antidote to Dissatisfaction.
Kurzgezagt only creates well-researched videos which are always science-based, so I encourage you to watch the video above.
I could write a whole article about the importance of gratitude, but instead, I’ll mention only one thing: Shift in FOCUS!
Luckily, we can’t feel disappointment and gratitude at the same time. We can’t simultaneously focus on the good and the bad things around us. The more we can focus on the pleasant things in life, the less time we have to dwell on the negative ones.
Escape the Trap of Materialism
If you never appreciate what you have and you always crave for more, you will never achieve true happiness. Material things can only bring us joy for a short period if we don’t learn how to appreciate all the beautiful things we have in life. No new car or house will fill the gap, as we will always want more, bigger, nicer.
It doesn’t matter what you have in life. You can always be grateful for it. Some people have more than others, but those who can’t appreciate will still go to sleep with the sour feeling of emptiness.
Being happy and grateful for your life doesn’t mean you can’t aspire for more. You can still set goals and work to achieve them. The only difference is that if you learn appreciation, the moment you achieve a goal, the satisfaction will be much higher.
Get in the loop
If you practice gratitude frequently, a magical thing can happen. If you develop the habit of continually being grateful, you will start appreciating the little things in life. You will be joyful when the sun comes out or when a summer breeze touches your face. Instead of going to work sad, you’ll appreciate that you have a great job to go to. Slowly you will learn how to find things to be grateful for, even on bad days.
If you continue to be grateful, at some point, you will find yourself in a feedback loop, which will have a fantastic impact on your life. As you always see the good around you, people will start enjoying your company more, your self-esteem grows, new opportunities open, and you create more good in your life. This leads you to be even more grateful, which leads to attracting even more good in your life.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is the easiest thing you can do to change your thinking for the better. You can write any time in your journal, but the best would be in the morning or evening.
How you Start the Day
When you wake up, think of 3-5 things that you can be thankful for. It doesn’t need to be a huge thing. There is always something to appreciate. The fact that you are healthy, you have your family and friends, or a simple thing like your bed being just so comfy.
Starting your day being grateful, instead of checking your phone, Facebook, Instagram, will have a positive impact on your day. You will set the mood for the day, week, and month ahead.
How you End the Day
Every night, before you go to sleep, write down the things that you were grateful for throughout your day. Again, these can be big or small; it doesn’t matter. You can combine this with a Success Journal, writing down three little achievements you had that day.
You can use a notebook and pen, or an application on your phone. It doesn’t matter how you do it. It is essential to do it regularly.
The habit of stepping back, being aware and mindful of everything we have is the easiest and best habit you can ever develop. As a little help, check the list below with a few things you can be grateful for.
8 Things to Be Grateful For
Even if you struggle with your health from time to time, you can always be thankful for having sight, hearing, having no severe illnesses. Being able to walk and run, smell the flowers around you.
Freedom of Choice
The fact that you decide where, how, and with whom you live is something to appreciate. Always being able to change, do whatever the hell you want is a great sensation that we often overlook.
People in your life
We, humans, are social beings. Alone, we wouldn’t resist much. Stop taking for granted all the wonderful people around you, and start appreciating them every day.
The fact that you have a house to go home to is something you should never neglect. Having a roof over your head, where you can feel in safety, where you can stay warm on cold nights is something that many people don’t have. Be grateful for it.
Internet – Access to Unlimited Information
Only 50 years ago, information was hard to get. Now you have all the information you need at your fingertips, for free. You can learn anything, anytime.
Technology around you
Just imagine life now without electricity, computers, and smartphones. It would be different, wouldn’t it?
Just to see that you can be thankful for the simplest things. Next time you go outside, take a deep breath. Be present, be mindful.
Yes. Bad days. Without them, all days would be regular. You wouldn’t be able to appreciate the good ones. Appreciate that you can appreciate.
You are alive
Last but not least. Never forget that you are here, alive. This is your chance to live, love, experience. Be ALWAYS thankful!
Now, just think about this:
YOU ARE ALIVE, YOU HAVE THE FREEDOM TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, YOU HAVE PEOPLE AROUND YOU THAT SUPPORT YOU, YOU HAVE UNLIMITED INFORMATION AT YOUR DISPOSAL, AND YOU HAVE TECHNOLOGY TO HELP YOU.
You can do anything!