In today’s world, there seems to be a lot to complain about. Mask or no mask, shot or no shot, politics, wars, riots, and natural disasters. The list is endless. Day after day, the news and media are bombarded with images or negativity or some expert telling you what you need to make your life better.
Next time you are out or with people at home, try listening — not to eavesdrop or gather gossip. Simply listen to see how many people express what they are grateful for rather than what they are upset about. You might be surprised: you might hear about complaints and negativity, or you might just hear about great moments in people's lives.
When was the last time that you started your day with a small sentence of gratitude? Instead of being cranky or snappy until you get that first cup of coffee, try being grateful that you can get that cup of coffee. Instead of griping about the weather, be grateful for the seasons changing and the beauty of nature. November is national gratitude month, so why not bring a little gratitude into every day?
It’s easy to get caught up in the constant negativity that seems to surround us day after day but being grateful takes very little effort. In most situations, if you try, you can find a positive in the negative. For example, suppose a family member who is 96 years old passes. Maybe this person was your biggest cheerleader and the very close to you. It is heartbreaking to lose a loved one; it is easy to focus on the negatives in this situation. To turn to the positives, consider the life they lived. Ninety-six years is a lot of time to have many adventures! As hard as it will be, in your grief, remember their stories. Remember all the time you had together and all the memories you made. Remember everything that they taught you and the wisdom they passed on to you. Be grateful for all those reasons.
Showing gratitude takes practice. Sometimes, you may need to remind yourself how to show gratitude. Try every day to think of something you are grateful for — big or small, abstract or concrete. It may be difficult at first, but eventually, it will get easier to notice the things around you that make life wonderful. National gratitude month is a great place to start getting in the habit, but let it spur you on to be grateful every day of the year.
#1. Be positive. As mentioned before, it is easy to get caught up in a cycle of negativity. Practice being positive. It may sound crazy, but when is the last time you tried to be positive from the moment you woke up until the minute your head hits the pillow? Being positive might be difficult at first, but it will get easier. Once you get the hang of staying away from negativity, you will find you will have an overall better attitude, and showing gratitude will be easier.
#2. Write a thank-you note. People enjoy getting something in the mail that is not a late notice or new bill. When you write a thank you note, not only are you sharing a little kindness, but you might even make someone's day. Think about this: if you are having a rotten day and, out of the blue, someone sends you a thank you note for something simple like bringing their morning paper out of the rain or holding a door open for them. It might brighten your mood or be a bright spot in your week. “Thank you” are two of the smallest words but carry a large impact. People always respond with “sorry” for the simplest issues; imagine if you started saying thank you as much.
#3. Spend time with others. Everyone gets busy. Most people are returning to work after being in home offices for the last year or more. Some people find it easier to stay in isolation than to go out. Socializing is incredibly important not only for your mental health but for showing that you care about someone. A simple phone call just to say hi works just as well as a Zoom or Facetime call.
Even if your family is scattered across the country or the pandemic has made you second-guess having an in-person get-together, there are still ways to connect. Some streaming services have features where you all can log on together and watch together. While you may not be in the same room, you are still able to be with those who are close to you. If you're comfortable going out and have friends and family close to you, invite them for dinner or go have coffee or a night out together. Practice gratitude with them; you can even tell them something about them you are grateful for.
Whether or not we realize it, every one of us has much to be grateful for. It can be hard to feel gratitude in today's world. There is so much negativity going around that sometimes it is difficult to find anything positive in many situations. Somehow, we have moved away from being a society that shows kindness and gratitude toward each other. Instead, we allow things to divide us on a shockingly deep level. It does not have to be that way. We can return to gratitude. When we practice gratitude, the most ordinary and everyday things can bring us great joy, and the world becomes a more positive place. Spreading positivity and gratitude is especially important this time of year. If you are suffering from social anxiety, depression, or another mental illness, especially due to the negativity prevalent in today's society, call SokyaHealth today at 866-932-1767.