Have you considered lately what is going well? What is going right? Sometimes things go well. Sometimes they don’t. And that’s okay. But when they go well, do you acknowledge it?
In a culture that encourages us to say, “I want” rather than, “I have” it can be stifling to gratitude. Have you ever had a bad day and stopped to be grateful that you have legs? Or hair? Or the gift of sight, smell, taste? More than likely, you have somehow managed to forget. Or maybe your world has gotten so gray that you feeling something (gratitude) feels like nothing. Either way, more than likely, your last instinct is to counter discouragement with gratitude.
Gratitude increase our well-being and happiness when it is deliberate. According to Psychology Today, gratitude “is associated with increased energy, optimism and empathy.” You can find other articles on gratitude here.
Gratitude is a way to measure right NOW. We are walking around each day in a society and culture that encourages expectation over appreciation. Imagine for a moment that you have no expectations.
Go ahead…clear them out. There’s probably a lot of them in there so I’ll give you a moment…
Now, imagine that the only thing you’re capable of is gratitude. Let that soak in for a moment. What if all you could see what the good? When we begin to live in gratitude, we begin to see the good first, and being able to focus on the good can be the difference between life and living.
As you begin to live in gratitude, there will be days where it is truly a struggle to see the good. But if you keep it small—if you really keep it small, it will work. Start by changing those “I have to’s” to “I get to’s.” Change the “I can’t” to “I can.”
Can you taste food? Can you drive? Can you see your spouse? If you can answer yes to any of this, you are AMAZING! When you begin to live in gratitude, you will begin to see color again. When a child laughs, you’ll hear it. And when good things happen, you’ll know it.