I’m re-reading one of my favorite books – “Man’s Search for Meaning”.
Wikipedia describes it as “a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome.”
If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it. It reminds the reader that happiness and joy can be found in the most horrible conditions. That when everything is stripped away – love endures.
We sometimes forget that more than 500 million people in the world are experiencing the threat of imprisonment, starvation, torture in conditions all too similar to the Nazi Holocaust.
Today, when a challenge that is not “a life and death situation” comes your way, try to put it in perspective. It’s probably not as bad as you’re making it out to be. It’s easy to let your mind take you on a negative road trip. Telling yourself this or that is going to happen in the future allowing it to affect the present. Anger and fear set in and cloud everything surrounding you.
When this happens, use it as a reminder to look around. Really look around. How bad is it? Do you have a roof over your head? Are you warm? Is your belly full? Do you have your health? If you can say yes to even a few of these you’re doing pretty good. Don’t let thoughts of an imaginary future steal your joy. It’s not worth it. Letting a negative thought of the future bring you down is like asking to be punished twice (assuming the negative thought even happens). Remember that worrying is like praying for something bad to happen. Accept the moment in all its beauty. Remember how lucky you are.
I personally practice gratitude in the morning, just after I wake up and in the evening when I go to bed before to have a good night sleep. I don’t do anything special I just say “thank you to still be alive and well”, thank you for all I have in my life and I go mentally through a list of things I am grateful for. It’s important we create that feeling of gratitude and not only to say “thank you”, we need to feel grateful, the feeling of gratitude must be genuine, only so we can feel good.
I also practice Gratitude during the day, for instance if I have to go somewhere and I reach the destination on time, I say thank you.
We are used to complain a lot when things don’t go the way we want, but when things go the way we want, do we spend the same amount of time in being grateful? Probably not, so let’s start practice Gratitude!
I suggest you now stop reading and start thinking deeply of something we feel grateful for and start to create the feeling of gratitude. Once we have created it once, we can easily recall it every time we want.
I have also created my “Gratitude list” where I have listed all the things that I am grateful for. I use my Gratitude List every day, just for few minutes I read all the things I am grateful for and I keep it updated. When I go through my Grateful List, I consider a moment for myself, to empower my positive state of mind, to empower my happiness because happiness comes from within.
If we are in pain, focusing on Gratitude is really helpful, it helps to shift our focus away from the pain and start feeling better.
I suggest you to do the same, writing makes your thinking visible! and when you will start writing, you will be surprised to discover that there are plenty things to be grateful for in your life.
As I mentioned before it’s important we create the feeling of gratitude until our eyes overflow with tears, as the tears come, we will feel the most beautiful feeling around our heart and all through the inside of us.
Simple suggestions to write a “Gratitude List”
Just take a piece of paper and write “I am grateful for …”
If you just can’t think of anything, just wait few minutes, give it time, not rush. I am sure something inside you will shift and the words will start to come out.
1 – Try to be the more specific you can, if you think it helps, you can even make a drawing.
2 – Once you start writing the things you are grateful for, next to them write the reasons why you are grateful.
3 – Not every day will you feel the sense of gratitude but there is no need to worry, it’s quite normal.
What I personally do when I feel like that, I try to create that feeling of Gratitude with a simple procedure: I place my hands on my heart for few minutes, I then raise my head, lift my body up, raise my arms to the sky and I shout loud in my mind a few times: “Thank you!” If you want you can start dancing or singing for few minutes, while you are concentrating on your Gratitude feeling.
4 – I suggest you create a routine, a habit, choose a couple of moments during the day, could be morning and evening like I do, but any moment is fine.
5 – Consult your Gratitude List during the moments you feel down and in pain. Gratitude can certainly lift your spirit.
6 – It’s very common when we start seeing results, we stop doing this practice. It happened to me and it happens to a lot of people. So once you start to see results, don’t stop, keep doing it, remember happiness is a journey. We need to keep our flame of happiness on all the time.
You might also like to read: Things to be grateful for in our life when going through a tough period
So Thank you for reading this!