I open the door of my Lake Nona home and I’m welcomed by perky lizards, chirping birds, beautiful weather and weird Florida bugs, and I can’t help but thank the universe for the hand I was dealt. I can only imagine what other people all around the country or world are greeted with when they open their doors. Some open their doors to wars, oppression, pollution, abuse, and some to begin a day of misery being underpaid and unappreciated with no hope for growth.
Although we live in one of the best places in the world, with all the opportunities and security, the world still manages to creep issues and challenges into our lives. Sometimes, it’s just hard to hold on to the feeling of gratefulness when so many things are worrying us and weighing us down. Then you add the feeling of guilt for feeling ungrateful because there are starving kids in Africa and you are sitting depressed over brunch at Canvas.
Nevertheless, problems are problems and life will always spring something on you, and it’s not reasonable to wait until life is perfect before you can enjoy some peace. On the contrary, it’s in the worst of times when you need to be the most grateful because it helps pull you out and shift your focus. It’s easy to feel grateful when everything is going well, but it’s much needed when your chips are down.
You will notice that when you start focusing on positivity, it becomes your environment and your overall attitude. You can help yourself by setting a time limit to when you will think of the subject that is bothering you. You can take an hour to sit down with a cup of tea and give it the hour of misery it deserves, but after that, don’t think about it until it’s necessary to again, but again, with time limitations and rules. That way, you are not bothered all day, and it’s not affecting the rest of your life, your mood, and your productivity.
There are many techniques to help you stay grateful like meditating and keeping a gratitude journal, but the one that I thought was the most practical is stopping yourself when you start complaining and you notice that your mind is focusing on negativity that is taking you to a dark place. The trick is to catch yourself doing it and stop. You can create a mantra that works for you like, “I choose to think of what is good” or “No matter what, things always work out.”
Sometimes, the future seems eerie with climate issues, political issues, and personal issues. Although it’s easier said than done, when life is weighing you down, take a deep breath and think of the happiest things in your life, appreciate your surroundings, and tell yourself that you are blessed, despite life’s issues. You are still blessed!
I am happy because I’m grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.