If you've ever asked what the key to happiness was, you've most certainly heard the word "gratitude" at the top of that list.
I do agree with this, and I do think being truly grateful for what you have, versus focusing on what you don't have, is a masterful skill.
A lot of us know this, but we're still not grateful. We're still not happy. I'm plenty guilty of this at times.
I think the big problem is that most of us don't know how to be truly grateful.
Not that it's complicated, but we can't just say we're grateful.
We can't just think it either.
We have to be it.
And to be it, it requires a conscious effort. Of course you can always switch your focus at a moment's notice to something you appreciate. And that is a great skill to have.
But I've found that this is either (a) difficult to do when I'm in a bad mood, or (b) it doesn't change my state.
The problem is, I'm not actually feeling it. I'm just thinking it.
I don't have all the answers as to how to become more grateful. I'll be honest, I know of techniques, but I haven't consistently practiced them. Shame on me.
The reason it's hard, is because it's not natural. It's not our default. We go on autopilot to look at the danger around us. We're wired to always look for what's wrong - the threats around us, what we need to be careful of.
I do this constantly, and it certainly affects my happiness.
So I definitely see the value in shifting focus to gratitude, and on this Thanksgiving, and beyond, I plan to make these shifts in perspective to look at not what's wrong, but what's right.
Live with substance!
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