For several years I have been using gratitude as a tool for maintaining my own balance and happiness. The premise is that the more attention you put on the good things in your life, the things we are grateful for, the more gratifying things becomes apparent to you and further, the more wonderful things you attract into your life. Naturally, what we focus on is what we see, if we narrow your vision to problems, focusing on the ‘have-nots’, and the negatives we will see more and more of those and our experiences will become a reflection of those thoughts and feelings and more negative things will appear in our life to validate our focus. Down the rabbit hole we go. By consciously shifting ones attention from what we don’t want, to what we DO want, we allow more of that to flow into our lives by simply choosing to see the good over the bad.
Changing perspective is not like flipping a switch, it does take conscious effort, but a daily gratitude practice is a simple and energizing tool that can help draw ones focus onto the good.
I have often embarked on mini gratitude challenges where I set out to write down at least 3 things I’m grateful for once a day. The idea is to allow a stream of consciousness of gratitude to begin, this means just start mindlessly listing the things that you have been grateful for that day. Its totally fine if the list is filled with seemingly mundane things or deeper more meaningful things, or a mix. At least once a week my gratitude list included ‘a cup of hot coffee,’ or ‘clean white sheet,’ both of these things make me very happy. At first it might seem hard to pull out the good things in our day, but it gets easier and if we allow ourselves to recognize the small things that make life just that much better, as our focus widens it becomes easier to see the bigger things.
In the past I have always set out to complete a two-week challenge and usually do it with a friend using Whatsapp or email to share our daily gratitude list. The truth is, I have NEVER completed the full two-weeks. As I have not been living up to my daily posting to the blog challenge, but still feel the desire to set some objective and achieve it I am going to set out on a 30-day Gratitude Challenge. For 30 days I must write down at least three things that I am grateful for and post them here. If I cant manage to stick to that, then well, I don’t know…that’s not an option, I’ll just have to do it!