Two weeks ago, I found myself at the gym, laughing so hard (at myself) that I had tears streaming down my face. For once, it wasn’t because I bumped my forehead with a free weight (yes, that does happen to me sometimes. Don’t judge.). It was because I was in awe at … wait for it … my headphones. No, my headphones aren’t anything fancy, I got them for free a few years ago. What happened was that I was listening to my music on my iPhone, and then I had an Ah-HA moment where I thought: “How AMAZING is it that this cable that is connected to my phone can transfer SOUND to my ears and that I can listen to music in my own bubble without hearing anything else around me!” This is the power of gratitude: in that moment, I was grateful that I had HEADPHONES to listen to my music. I’ve been practicing gratitude so consistently that I was able to be grateful for something seemingly so small. Trust me when I tell you that gratitude can really change your perspective on life.
One of the main reasons I’ve been happier and carefree lately is that I’ve been practicing gratitude every. single. day. Developing the habit of gratitude has had such a positive impact on how I see the world around me. It was a long process and I still have room for improvement, but I’m in a place where it is so much easier to feel grateful in the moment for things that are seemingly so basic.
What is gratitude?
This seems like an obvious answer but I think it’s still important to address. For me, gratitude is recognizing what you have in your life. It’s the foundation of true wealth. Truly understanding and seeing how blessed we are for everything that we are given, whether it be material or not, will create a state of mind where you are constantly noticing the amazing things that you have in your life. You then create a positive cycle where you are grateful for different areas in your life that you begin to notice even more things to be grateful for. I strongly believe that’s how you attract even more positive changes in your life.
How do you practice gratitude?
What I’ve realized is that it always goes back to the same thing: being conscious. Having the self-awareness of what goes on in your mind will help you pinpoint how you look at the world, how you define experiences and moments in your life, and how you choose to let it affect you.
For example, if you have a tight budget and can’t always buy the things that you want, it’s easy to get into a state of mind where you feel frustrated and start believing that your life sucks. A negative mindset can easily take a small ‘situation’ and make into something bigger. I’m not trying to minimize financial struggles, however, there are so many documentaries that show that even the poorest people around the world can be happy. So instead of focusing on what you CAN’T buy, start noticing what you DO have: you live in a safe city, you have food on your table, you have a bed to sleep in, you are healthy, you have clean clothes to put on every day, you are able to breathe…the list goes on. Isn’t it so much nicer to see the things that you have rather than focus on what you weren’t able to buy at the store? I’ve been guilty of that and once I started practicing gratitude, my whole perspective on life changed.
I could write a whole blogpost on ways to practice gratitude (let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in reading!) but I wanted to plant the seed so that you can start noticing throughout your day things that you can be grateful for – from little things like clean sheets or being able to take a shower, to more significant things like being grateful for something that your partner did for you. Start noticing and you will soon see that your life is FILLED with things to be grateful for!
What are some things that you’re grateful for? What can you do to practice gratitude on a day-to-day basis? Share your thoughts and comments with me, I love hearing from you! And make sure to stay in touch via social media, I’m excited to be part of community of like-minded people that want to create positive changes in their lives, so please join the Elle is for Love community!