I found this article on HelloGiggles and really liked it and thought I would share. I advocate this so much and attribute it to the reasons I am so happy all the time :)
I have found there are two keys to life: Gratitude and a Thesaurus. You can pick up a Thesaurus just about anywhere, or look it up online, but gratitude is a little bit harder to come by for some of us. It’s easy to forget– or sometimes, not even see– how fortunate we are to have all that we do in our lives.
Being consciously grateful is essential to a happy life. It keeps you positive and optimistic, which are two of the most important things you can be. Never forget that you get what you give, and being a positive person will bring more positive people, events and opportunities into your life. By being grateful for those things, you are basically tipping your hat to the universe who in turn will be like, “Wow, this girl really appreciates the goodness in her life, I’m going to send her some more!”
Or, something like that.
The universe has never actually spoken in words to me.
So, it may speak a little more professionally for all I know.
The point is, I truly believe this. I truly believe that being grateful opens you to more opportunities to be grateful for. This has proven true in my personal life, and these are the steps I took to get into the mindset I am in today.
Look around you. No matter who you are, there is something to be thankful for. A roof over your head, the food in your fridge, your family and friends. Each of these things are truly a gift. Every day that you are in good health, every day that you get to go to work, every day you get to drink clean water. When you begin to recognize the goodness in your life, and make a conscious effort to be grateful for those things, you will see that every day there is more and more to be thankful for.
If you honestly think there is nothing to be thankful for in your life, you’re not trying hard enough. At the very least, you should be thankful you are fortunate enough to have access to a computer with internet to be reading this.
Turn Negatives Into Positives
Being grateful makes it really easy to turn negatives into positives. This is a great practice to get into, and that’s what it is, a practice. Many of us aren’t taught to be actively grateful, so you have to make an effort. Next time you feel like complaining about your job, but be grateful you have a job. When you’re pissed off your mom is coming down hard about your grades, but be grateful you have a parent who cares. Your attitude and your world view is shaped by how you think. If you can change the way you think, you can change your world.
A person is not defined by what happens to them in their life. A person is defined by how they deal with what happens in their life. We all have hardships to overcome, and with each hardship, you have a choice. You can either choose to let it break you, or choose to let it make you. I’m not saying not to grieve when bad things happen, or that you have to be happy all the time, but what I am saying is that you have to use the challenges in your life to make yourself a better person. With every suffering you endure, there is something to learn. We must be grateful for those opportunities, because that is how you grow and become a stronger person.
Don’t confuse this with having to “like” everyone. There is no way you’re going to like everyone, just like there is no way everyone is going to like you. But you can love every person that comes into your life, because each of them can teach you something about yourself and the world. Be aware of yourself, your relationships and how they make you feel. The people who bother you most, usually have the most to teach you. Love your scatterbrained lab partner because he is teaching you to be more patient. Love the rude girl at the party because you know her evil glares stem from her own insecurity. Love your jerky co-worker because they are giving you the opportunity to practice standing up for yourself and voicing your opinions.
Treasure Moments– No Matter How Big Or Small
I just chased my dog all over the house, and after he got tired, he rolled over on his back with the biggest smile on his tiny face. It’s these simple things, like making my loved one’s life more enjoyable, that makes my life more enjoyable. Relish in the moments you spend with friends, laughing at a dinner party. Thank God for your parents’ craziness during the holidays because it is in part what has made you what you are. Run around outside because you love the sunshine. Each moment you take the time to be present in will help you garner a deeper appreciation for life.
Ideas For Daily Exercises In Gratitude
Sometimes just telling yourself to think a new way can be hard, so here are some ideas to help make thinking gratefully easier.
• Keep a gratitude journal
Every night, write down ten things you are thankful for that day and how they affect your life. Even if it’s just the budding roses outside your window, that’s something to be thankful for. They are giving you a prettier view, aren’t they?
• Learn a prayer for gratitude
Here is a good one I found at Zen Habits:
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
- Author Unknown
My favorite meditation is one by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I’ve definitely mentioned it before, but his guided Meditations For Manifesting includes an awesome evening meditation for being grateful.