How often do you stay thankful for acts of goodness (and even the seemingly unfair things) that happen in your life? And do you stay grateful on a regular basis?
Over the past few days, I have heard several people complain about one wrong thing or another in their lives. It could be bad grades at school, a disagreement with a dear friend or not having someone to talk to. These are some examples of real life occurrences; however, it is important to emphasize that our attitude about any state or condition in our lives is always within our power to choose. Attitudes are rooted in our own beliefs and are unique across most individuals. They do not form overnight but rather, throughout the course of one’s life journey. Although one’s attitudes are initially nurtured from the environment, we nonetheless always have a choice on what to keep or discard eventually. It is important to develop a positive attitude of gratitude since it will be very difficult to retain a certain kind of integrity where we create a wrong impression of being ungrateful.
So dear girl, how do you stay grateful, you ask?
Have a list: Developing a sense of gratitude might not happen overnight. It is a habit that should be practiced. I personally wanted to learn how to stay thankful, so I deliberately became more mindful of daily activities that happened in my life. The best way I could keep track was by keeping a journal. Every day, I would write down the things I was thankful for. Overtime, I found it easier to count my blessings and to generally have a positive outlook about life.
Express yourself: If you feel grateful, say it! Tell people around you. Don’t bottle up your emotions or how you feel. That way, you inspire yourself and those around you as well.
Watch what you say: Your words are powerful. It is almost impossible to channel yourself to say two contradictory sentences and to believe them wholly. It’s either you believe one and are paying lip service to the other. If you find yourself constantly being critical or negative about events that happen in your life, there will almost be no time for you to reflect on being thankful. Be deliberate about the words you say and make sure you are appreciative of everything that happens around you, even the seeming bad things.
Get creative: Creativity will spur you to being grateful. For instance put little notes of positive messages around the house will help you stay grateful, set reminders on your mobile, tell your friends about the new plan and start an accountability thread. Make it as much fun as you possibly can. Start with people around you- You can stay grateful by celebrating those around you.
Stay Mindful: To develop an attitude of gratitude, you have to be intentional. Don’t take things that happen to you for granted. Appreciate everything. Gratitude doesn’t have to be saved for the “big” things in life. The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.
And even when the odds seem against you: This becomes a test of character. Personally, 2018 started with me receiving three consecutive bad news that left me reeling in disbelief. I had entered the new year so certain about how the year would play out and next thing, all my plans came crashing. I remember sitting in my car and bawling my eyes out and then it hit me, why not choose to see the unseen benefit. Why not stay grateful to God for protecting you from unseen dangers. I did just that, trust me, it wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but it paid off, because the rest of the year has turned out way better than I imagined.
So, what will you do when it seems like the odds are against you or that no one understands? Stay grateful. Find the reasons to be happy. No matter how minute they may seem.
Help others: Finally, help others. Volunteer. Be a light in another’s life. One sure way to live a thankful life is when you can see your the value you bring in the life of others and you know you are responsible for the smiles on their faces.