Gratitude Is The Best Attitude

Gratitude Is The Best Attitude

A common piece of advice given is to practice gratitude as a means to brighten up one’s mood and outlook on life. It’s a good counteraction to negative thoughts that pervade us and drag us down. I’m convinced a lot of unhappiness is related to cultural expectations about roles, life outcomes, and status. A lot of people get down on themselves when they start comparing their lives to others (never do this) or the trajectory of their life (you’ll get there, I promise). I like to practice gratitude by focusing on simple things in my life that give me comfort that maybe not everyone in the world possesses. For example, how amazing is it truly to have doors that lock that keep you safe in your house? Sounds commonplace, everyone has locks on their doors right? Well, not if you live in a tent. Not if you sleep under an overpass. Just something simple like that makes me feel grateful that I possess the life that I live. When we’re kids our parents tell us to eat all of our food because of starving children in Africa. The truth is, there are hungry kids much closer to home and food insecurity is a real problem in this country despite the strong economic gains we’ve made since the Great Recession. So I thank God that I can provide food for my family, that despite my oldest being an apex tier picky food eater, he has access to a full pantry and refrigerator and a snack anytime he wants one. I can’t imagine the anxiety that comes with not knowing where your next meal comes from. Try to think of something you normally take for granted. Maybe it’s not food or security, maybe just something that adds comfort to your life. Having a hot shower anytime you want it, air conditioning in the summer, heat in the winter, or clean clothes. My grandfather used to shovel coal into a furnace to keep warm. My wife’s grandmother still talks about a time when you carried water in and out of the house. Indoor plumbing, a furnace, a hot water heater, all of these are everyday items but how amazing is it to have these things. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, just remind yourself to be grateful for what you have and everything will get better, even if it means focusing on the little things in life.
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