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You can grateful or resentful, better or bitter. Which will you choose?
“It doesn’t matter what happens to you. What matters is: What are you going to do about it?” -Les Brown
Gratitude is a choice. It can make you feel so much better in so many ways – physically, emotionally, and mentally. However, it does require practice.
A friend of mine recently recommended the practice of “at least.”
The Practice of “At Least”
Let’s say someone dings your car at the grocery store.
You could say: “Wow. My day is ruined. How much is this going to cost? This is the worst day ever. (Fill in the blank with all kinds of negative thoughts).” That’s what we call resentment and bitterness.
OR you could say: “At least I have a car to get dinged. I remember when I didn’t have one. Lots of people don’t have the convenience of a vehicle. Thank goodness no one was hurt (fill in the blank with silver linings). One response wastes a lot of energy and the other helps you focus on what actually matters. Choosing gratitude. Being better. Rising above.
Research shows that gratitude is good for you
Don’t just take my word for it. Gratitude can help your body fight off sickness, lower your blood pressure, and make you feel less sad and anxious. It’s also really good for your relationships because it helps you connect with other people and be more caring and understanding. Plus, when you’re grateful, you’re just happier and more satisfied with your life because you’re focusing on all the good stuff instead of the bad stuff.
There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, like saying “thanks” to people, writing down things you’re grateful for in a journal, or even just thinking about all the things you’re thankful for.
It’s important to practice a gratitude habit, not just when something special happens. By being grateful more often, you can start to see the world in a more positive way.
It’s easy to get bummed out and negative when there’s so much bad in the world. However, if you can focus on the good things and be grateful for them, you can feel more hopeful and strong even when things are really hard. In doing so, you will become a force for good in a world of not-so-good.
The practice of choosing gratitude has allowed me to weather some difficult storms in my life.
How do you practice gratitude? Let me know in the comments below!
Choose your thoughts wisely,
If you’re practicing gratitude, this book could be helpful: The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
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