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The Power Of Gratitude
Posted: Tuesday 28th January 2020 | Euan Jackson
Small wonder that many people are eaten up emotionally inside. Ingratitude could be the cause. Be grateful for everything. Here's how.
Research has demonstrably shown how gratitude has a profound, positive effect on our mental health and sense of well-being. That alone is worth the effort to be more mindful of our responses to what life throws at us. We may not be able to change the situation at that moment, but our response to it is critical in helping us deal with the unexpected and turning things around for good.
It all starts there, in our response. In this instance, gratitude. A genuine attitude of thanksgiving to what we are experiencing, even though we may not understand the 'why' at the time.
I have had to work hard to overcome a disposition to see the worst in most situations! Part of the pessimism/cynicism package that defined me for many years. Consequently, gratitude has been in short supply as the mind becomes fixated in a cycle of negativity when things do not work your way, a way that you feel you have an automatic right to expect.
It could be argued that nothing in life is our right; a job, government help, health care, friendship, luck, social priviledge. In my opinion, this type of thinking holds back a number of people who do not feel they have to go out and work and earn the fruits of labour; it should be handed to them by virtue that in the west we take these social benefits as a right, not a privilege and responsibility.
In may other parts of the world, less fortunate people simply do not have this same sense of entitlement and must look with bemusement or envy at the way people in the west hold such views.
Thinking about life as an entitlement, something we deserve and something we are easily moved to anger when we feel the entitlement is not delivering is a major suppressor of gratitude. You may feel justified in your stance, but your health and mental will suffer as a consequence.
As I have thought about this over the years, I conclude that nothing is guaranteed in life vis-a-vis all the things mentioned above. One could major on the negative side of this type of reflection and become quite morose and develop a "I'm not worthy" complex very quickly. This must be avoided.
For me, it has been a beneficial adjustment to view life as an everyday blessing, assuming nothing is mine by right, but rather by positively embracing what a day holds for me. In fact, much of the flow of a typical day will be determined by our mindset and how we position ourselves to receive whatever comes our way.
This is where the power of gratitude is such a game changer. We cannot predict a day ahead. We may plan but more often than not, circumstances beyond our control determine the way our day, and by extension, the direction our life flows. At this point, our reaction to everything is crucial.
We cannot always control the events of life but the response is always in our power. Therefore, to be a grateful person is a decision of the will. It may not be easy but it is a habit that can be cultivated in your life, becoming a defining characteristic of you who are.
Stop and think for a minute about the many things you can express gratitude for. You will be surprised at the number and variety of blessings you currently have, despite what external circumstances may look like.
The resultant shift in your attitude will inevitably and irresistibly shift you more in line with living life full, positive, blessed and influencing others for better.
Start today. Do life from now on from the mindset of gratitude for all things. See how quickly pessimism and negativity give way before the full force of a life lived from a mind centred on being grateful.
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