As the global pandemic continues to unfold around the world, it can feel harder and harder to maintain a positive outlook.
The way in which so many of us live our lives has changed in an unprecedented and unpredictable way — and this can of course take its toll. We are having to find new ways to socialise, to exercise, to work — to name just a few!
If you are having a tough time adjusting at the moment, then even the smallest and most mundane of tasks may start to feel difficult. Your motivation to stay on track with your goals can slip, and your enthusiasm for the things you usually love can start to disappear.
Staying grateful might be the last thing on your mind right now, but it can seriously help to focus your thoughts in a positive direction!
Why Be Grateful?
It can be easy to let negativity get the best of us in any number of situations. This is something that we may all be more at risk of at the moment!
When negative thought processes do begin to take hold, it can be difficult to turn the tide on these emotions. However, by expressing gratitude — and doing this often — we can keep hold of the good things that we do truly already have in our lives.
You may often find that you are the most grateful for the small and simple things that can actually be easily overlooked. When you take a moment to consider the things that you are thankful for, then these things can start to come to the forefront of your mind. This can often help you to realise that the things that you really need aren't always the things you think you want.
If you take some time to think back on your life so far, you will likely recall some instances when you did not show your gratitude. This could have been for a particular person or event, or even just a set of circumstances.
Often we don't show gratitude because it simply doesn't cross our minds to do so. However, when someone does something kind for us, or life presents a new and exciting opportunity, it is important to say thanks for this.
If this is something you feel you have failed to do consistently in the past, then that's totally normal. Try to use this realisation to make a stronger effort to express gratitude in the future!
Accepting The Present
Being able to genuinely accept where you are in your life right now is key to being able to stay grateful. If you are prone to giving yourself a hard time for not reaching goals in time, or you often feel stuck, then this can of course impact your happiness.
What's more, beating yourself up for not being where you want to be serves no positive purpose at all!
Getting down on yourself isn't going to inspire you to change your circumstances, it will more than likely just push your mood further downwards.
When you can accept your life for what it is in the present moment, then you can truly begin to enjoy it for what it is. We all have things that we would like to accomplish and work towards, and those things must be embraced slowly if they are to be sustainable and successful.
If there are things in your life that you are currently unhappy with and wish to change, then give yourself permission to do this at your own pace. If it helps, make a physical list of the things that you would like to change, and also make a note of how you would like these things to be different.
You can then brainstorm solutions to each issue without making yourself feel bad for the existence of the things on your list.
Manage Your Expectations
It's great to have dreams and goals — and it's fantastic if you have the time and energy to continuously work towards them. Although it's amazing if you can do this, it's also good to be able to manage your own expectations around these things.
Trying to get too much done in a short space of time can serve to stress you out and leave you feeling as though you actually haven't done enough!
Try to express gratitude for the small steps you are able to take towards your goals, and praise yourself for doing so. Taking a moment to be thankful for your progress can make the process seem more meaningful.
Remember, some things are always going to be out of your control. Try to encourage yourself for the successes instead of getting down about the things that haven't gone to plan!
Forgiveness and gratitude are certainly two concepts that go hand in hand. When you make a habit of expressing gratitude, then you may also find it much simpler to extend forgiveness.
Forgiveness is something that we may give to other people as well as to ourselves. This is not something that is exclusive to our external relationships, but something that we must embrace within our own minds. We must learn to accept our own flaws, forgive ourselves for them, and learn to love these things about ourselves instead. When we are moving through this process, we must be grateful for this opportunity to learn and to grow.
Losing sight of the important things in life is easily done — especially in the more difficult moments.
Sometimes we forget to appreciate the good parts of our lives and the things that we are truly thankful for. This can often be because we live such busy lives with so many different things to stay on top of.
Check out my past post for Four Fantastic Ways to Express Gratitude!
Having additional support as you invite positive change into your life — such as adopting an ongoing gratitude practice — is a great way to stay on track.
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