Sometimes it only takes a push or an idea outside of yourself to change. Have you wondered what practicing gratitude means? We’ve written this article to help enlighten you and give you a fresh perspective.
Shifting Perspective Is Key
Life has two halves. We mean that:
- One part of life is experiencing happiness.
- One part of life is experiencing hardship.
We’ve all gone through our ups and downs, and it will keep happening. The earlier we accept this, the better equipped we are to face the uncertainty and unpredictability that comes with daily living. Even if we try to exert full control over all aspects of our lives, there will always be an element of unpredictability and chaos when we have no control.
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On the other hand, some people fall into the mentality of fear and pessimism. Let’s say something negative has happened to them, so now they are expecting negative events to happen again if they do/say/think a certain way. While trauma is a serious issue, and there is a lot of injustice in the world, it is courageous to rise above your consequences and not let painful experiences define you.
Of course, we’re not dismissing the truly painful experience that some human beings go through. We’re simply advocating a mindset that is strong enough to overcome pain and have hope for better days to come. If everyone lets all the bad things happen in their life define their whole existence, they will never truly be happy. They can never truly grow or change for the better.
Lastly, some become complacent, stiff, and unchanging. This means they refuse to change or to see where they can make changes because it’s easier to cling to what’s familiar. They stick to a routine, no matter what. However, this, in a sense, is another way to escape/defend oneself from the changing nature of life.
How This Connects With Gratitude
So, to get to the point of it, gratitude helps us reframe our perspective. It helps us get out of escapism, fear, self-pity, and complacency. It lets us focus on the positive aspects of our experiences, even from negative experiences. This type of mindset is not to be confused with “toxic positivity” since we do not deny the hardships and negative feelings we face.
On the contrary, we try to see the lessons in our hardships. Without hardship, we would not be able to grow or evolve. It’s quite ironic. We face ourselves head-on to live free from fear, self-pity, hate, and self-delusion.
This is the magic of a gratitude mindset. What’s more, is that it can help us focus on the good things that happen instead of always focusing on the bad. As humans, it’s very easy for us to only focus on the negative. A gratitude mindset helps us see the bigger picture much better by reminding us to count our blessings and be happy with what we have.
While on some days, this might be very hard to practice, it is still worth training. Because when we adopt a healthy way to deal with hardships, we train our perspective, and we ultimately change our mindset to a more evolved one. We become stronger through gratitude.
Helps Us Welcome Better Things Ahead
Thinking negatively constantly truly does invite negativity in your life. How does this work? As we’ve stated before, life has a certain element of unpredictability, so there are things that are bound to happen which are out of our control.
What is in our control is how we react, think, and do when we’re faced with different situations. Not evolving from a perpetually negative way of thinking invites more negativity simply because you’re choosing to focus on the negative and you overlook everything else.
If you’re mad, it’ll be easier to find more things to be mad about. If you’re sad, then you’ll also find more things to be sad about. If you’re judgemental, then all you’ll ever focus on are the flaws of other people. Even if we are all flawed, perfection is an illusion. Do you get it now?
While it’s normal to feel angry, sad, or critical. We must try to be aware of the “WHY”:
- Why am I feeling this way?
- Why do I feel this way about this person?
- Why does this situation trigger me?
By becoming aware of the root of our emotions, we come to understand ourselves better and grow. So, when we practice gratitude and when we don’t focus solely on the negative, we start seeing the full picture better. We become more mindful, patient, understanding, and empathetic.
By evolving, we have more chances of attracting more positive experiences. And even if we are faced with hardship, we understand that everything is temporary and everything can carry a lesson and a chance to grow.
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We will also be freed from the heavy and draining energies that come with harboring negative emotions for too long. And as we said, it’s not about denying such emotions; it’s about feeling them but not letting them define you. And ultimately by rising to overcome them or by simply letting go.
Gratitude is not about unrealistic positivity. Gratitude is about accepting the present circumstances but choosing to count your blessings no matter what. Gratitude is about letting go, and in a less direct sense, it signals a strong character. By practicing gratitude the right way and understanding your emotions and experiences, you are allowing yourself to lead a better life.