“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.” Emily Fletcher
Emily Fletcher wrote an article entitled The Neuroscience of Gratitude.
“What are you most grateful for in this moment? Right here, right now. Seriously, stop and ask yourself. If you’re having a tough day and aren’t able to come up with anything off the top of your head, that’s all the more reason to ask the question.”
Believe it or not, our brain, our temperament and our well-being are positively fed by thoughts of gratitude. She even goes on to write that gratitude can be a natural antidepressant. So why don’t we make this a habit? The truth is, we have not trained ourselves to do it. It is something we have yet to learn. We all have our own sh*t that we are dealing with on a regular basis and in attempting to distract our pain we say to ourselves “well she has cancer and I don’t – that is far worse than what is troubling me”? And moments later we all recognize that is a fleeting interruption at best and we promptly return to our particular misery. That is natural. We all do it.
I am a failure.
I am fat.
It’s Mother’s Day and I am not a mother.
My car is old and it needs repairing.
I can’t pay my bills.
It’s miserable outside today.
My job sucks and my boss is an a*hole.
I am always lonely.
I need new clothes.
My sister is the favourite – why not me?
I have diabetes.
They always disrespect me.
My best friend just died.
HE can afford that great vacation.
My daughter hates me.
I have cancer.
I hate my life.
My house burned to the ground.
But we can always find blessings in our life. We can seek out reasons to smile. I gave up my seat last night in a restaurant waiting area to a young child with her mother. Both the child and the mother smiled at me. I held open the exit door at the gym and the fit young man expressed thanks to me. But we can also look around our life and be grateful for what exists.
My mother is alive.
I have loving memories of my departed husband.
I am able to walk outside today and enjoy the sunshine.
I woke up.
I can watch an uplifting movie right now.
My children are healthy.
I had breakfast today.
Someone texted me out of the blue to see how I was.
I have regular bowel movements.
I own a car.
I will be sleeping in fresh sheets tonight.
Spotting the first crocus of spring.
My pet brings me such peace and unbridled love.
I have one very special relationship.
Having a job.
My ability to think and to reason.
I am the recipient of good deeds from strangers.
We can all find gratitude for moments, people and things in our life. It is an active not a passive activity. I know – it is working for me.
If you are feeling gratitude today, perhaps you can demonstrate that by donating to an agency like the Red Cross and support the effort in assisting the residents of Fort McMurray Alberta.
I appreciate that Jeffrey.
If someone asks how things are, and they’re really not that great, you could put a more positive slant on a response: “Things could always be better, but then again, things could also be *worse*!” That helps place things in perspective for what is gratitude.
Good post, Stuart.
Selfawareness leads to many positive actions. You have identified one such positive action. We don’t have to be on autopilot during our waking hours – we can be mindful of not only what we say but how we say it too. And as I point out, maybe too often, we have that choice to make. It is ours alone.
Thanks again for your contribution here Pearl. I do appreciate it.