To be Thankful
In this day and age it is so easy to fall into the trap of being ungrateful. Little things that are so commonplace for us we take for granted. Much of what we have in developed countries are luxuries or even never heard of in other parts of the world.
While we have many things to be thankful in our lives, it might be hard to see what they are. Many of us are out of practice with being thankful for what we do have and instead try to get more and more.
Why be Thankful?
Many people might wonder why you should even take time to be thankful for what you have. After all, you know that you are thankful, so why devote some of your ever dwindling time toward such a redundant activity?
The answer is simple; because it will help you stay mindful and thankful instead of going for more.
Our developed society really pushed each individual to go for bigger and better. Companies are constantly coming out with “the latest model” and “the next best thing” that you have to have. Remaining thankful can help you stay out of the loop of needing to have the latest and greatest, which in turn can help your sense of self; not to mention your bank account.
How to be Thankful
When faced with a new task that you have never done before, there might be some fear and intimidation. Fear not, for this is a very easy exercise to perform. Just like anything that you do, the more you do it, the better and easier it will get for you to do.
This exercise should take no more than 5-10 minutes to start and soon will only take a few minutes to do every day.
Get a journal or notebook to keep track of what you are thankful for. Yes, there is a little bit of writing involved. However, I promise that no one will be judging you and this is more just like a tracker for you.
Sit down somewhere that you are comfortable and close your eyes for a second. Ground yourself and just be in the moment of where you are. When thoughts come into your head of “You need to do…” or “What about…” just push them aside and focus on you sitting there. This will help you be more in the moment which is important to being thankful.
Write down 5 things that you are thankful for right now. They can be complex or simple, silly or serious. Just make sure that you write them down.
Every day write down 5 new things that you are thankful for. Try to not repeat any of your thankfuls for a week. When you are able to do that, try to go for a month without repeating.
When I first started trying to be thankful and in the present I felt like I was failing hardcore. I was in a bad place mentally and could not think of a single thing that I was thankful for. My mind just kept going toward all the negative things in my life.
I read so many books about how to be present and in the moment and just let what you are thankful be known. Then I read a book that suggested that I write down what I was thankful for. Not only did this keep a record of things that I had been thankful for, but when you write things down it somehow makes them more real. Hence, your thankfulness would compound and become more.
So I got my journal and pen and found the most comfy place I could to sit down and I sat there for close to half an hour trying to come up with 5 things I was thankful for. I was sitting there crying because I was having no luck thinking of anything I was thankful for. I felt like the worst kind of person.
I ended up laying on the floor in despair from my lack of things I could write down that I was thankful for when this random though of “I’m surprised I’m laying on this floor without hurting.” when it hit me. I was thankful for the floor! Thankful that it was there, that I could lay on it in my tear drenched state.
I wrote that down.
Then I started feeling a little better so started to look around the room. I realized I was also thankful that I had a roof over my head, and that there was food in my fridge. Three down, two to go! I was also thankful that I had socks on my feet and they weren’t cold. One more!
I looked around more and saw that the light was on above my head. Electricity! I was very thankful for having that! Yes I got my 5!! To be honest for the next several days that is all I did; look around and what I could see right in front of me was what I wrote down.
Slowly though, I started to think about more things that I was thankful for outside my immediate field of view. I t was a gradual and sometimes painful process, but one I am so happy now that I took.
I know how hard it can be to start being thankful for things in your life, especially when you seem to be at your worst. When nothing is going right and the whole world is just going against you.
You can start doing this at any point in your life and it will make a difference in the long run. You just have to stick with it and do it every day.
Yes, you might not think of new things every day at first, and that’s OK. Just writing down that you are thankful for the clothes on your back and the floor you’re laying on is the first step. Every day will get just a little bit better as long as you stick with it.
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