Why Should I Start A Gratitude Practice?
As humans, we’re not hard-wired to be grateful - it doesn’t come naturally to us. It’s often so much easier to have a grumble, complain, and think about all the areas in our life where we’re experiencing pain or hardship.
Sometimes it’s not having enough money in the bank, or that our partner doesn’t understand us, or the crazy commute we have to endure in heavy traffic to get to work each day. Whatever the reason, it seems to be human nature to focus on what’s going wrong in our lives or to dwell on what we don’t have, leading to a sense of powerlessness over how we feel.
The down side of this habit is that it’s incredibly seductive. The saying “misery loves company” has a great deal of truth in it and there’s generally no shortage of people around us to indulge in our complaining.
When I look back six years ago, the lens through which I viewed the world was decidedly negative. I often felt like I had limited control over the events that happened to me and the impact they had on my life. It felt normal to feel sad and to have low energy, because that’s what I told myself was to be expected when challenges hit you. Phrases like “it’s not fair”, “why is this happening to me?” and “is this really all there is to life?” played frequently in my head, and I felt powerless to do anything about it.
A commitment to living a life of gratitude has thankfully reversed that attitude, but it’s a skill that takes some practicing and getting used to. As our gratitude practice becomes more sensitive by focusing on what’s good in our life along with all of the blessings surrounding us, a certain magic begins to take hold. It’s as if we send a message out to the universe to say “more of this please”, which then causes the positive experiences in our life to flourish and grow.
As you flex and work your gratitude muscle every day, it gets stronger. And as it develops, so does the realization and experience that it’s possible to have a choice about how we respond to the challenges and hurdles that life presents us, without getting sucked into a complaining mindset or feeling anxious about what we don’t have.
As a result, gratitude will impact and transform your life in so many ways:
Contentment becomes stronger than dissatisfaction
Peace becomes stronger than frustration
Appreciation becomes stronger than criticism and complaining
And resilience to life’s challenges increases
Overall, life just becomes sweeter and more fun through practicing gratitude. And the happier and more contented we are, the kinder we become to those around us – meaning all that come into contact with us