When presented with the idea of gratitude, many people tend to think of gratitude in terms of thankfulness and certain times of the year such as the holidays or times we as a nation or people are scheduled to remember to be thankful. Perhaps other people refer back to the manners that they exercise on a daily basis that they exchange with their families, friends co-workers and people in society.
The gratitude I am proposing is an all encompassing habit. It is a way to look at your life and the people and situations that are a part of your life as a means to live a more fulfilled and aware life.
Perhaps gratitude itself can be used as a coping skill. For example, in these troubled times; it is easy to fall into the habit of focusing on the difficult and uncertain aspects of our lives, finances and careers. This negative mindset often spills over into our family, faith and emotional lives. By choosing to seek all that we have to be thankful for and looking at our lives from a perspective of abundance, we can begin to see the fruits of our labor not only in our work, but also in our relationships, ourselves, and the world around us. This mental shift can have a direct positive effect when used consistently in our daily lives as we assess our day, our interactions with others and ultimately of ourselves.
Ways we can implement using gratitude:
- When facing frustrating situations, rather than focusing on the negative aspects of the situation; express gratitude for the talents you have and for the supportive people in your life. If that seems to be difficult, seek help from someone who can assist you in seeing the things that you can be thankful for in the midst of your difficult situation. Perhaps pray with a grateful heart to be guided to the truth that you seek.
- Begin to look at the world around you. Look for experiences of beauty. Take it in and be grateful for what you see and experience.
- Maintain an attitude of hope and faith that sees beyond the circumstances. Share your hope and faith with others.
- Acknowledge those around you for keeping a good attitude and not losing hope. LetÂ’s face it- positive energy is contagious.
- Finding things to be grateful for in all situations, in others and in ourselves will lead to positive change in our lives and in our relationships.
If you are having trouble finding gratitude in the midst of very difficult situations, we at Village Counseling Center would be happy to help assist you on your journey.