Do you think happy people have more in their life to be happy about? Well, yes and no. They are happy about more things in their life because they focus on being thankful and grateful about more things in their life.
What you focus on expands. When more of your attention is on things that bring up good feelings more than bad feelings you will be much happier and less dissatisfied with daily life. It boils down to perspective. First, what are you looking at and how are you looking at it?
For example, you may feel that the home you live in no longer suits your wants and needs, so you focus on what you see as the negative aspects. And I’m sure you have noticed how easily your mind chatter will support your thinking about what you don’t like. This automatic feature of your mind will help to enhance whatever you think and feel – it does it so easily with dislikes.
But think a minute, isn’t there a lot about where you now live that you can appreciate and be thankful for? You do have a roof over your head, you are protected from the elements, you have running water, flush toilets, etc. Think for a moment, if you did not have this home? I think you‘ll see that there is really a lot about it that you can be grateful for. This is true of most everything in your life. If you are not sure, compare what you have and do against other people that have less. Think about your home, your clothes, your job, your possessions, your community, accessibility to what you want, how your basic needs are met, what IS going right, and so much more. There is always a good side.
Teach yourself to focus on anything and everything that you can no matter how minute you think it is and your happiness will increase. You can really only focus on one thing at a time, multitasking is when you bounce between different things more rapidly. But you can’t think about the good of something while thinking about the bad of it, always one or the other. To feel better and to send out the best signal, focus on the good. You can decide to be grateful for no specific reason, just for being alive and all that entails. This is actually a great base line for your life, your attitude, thinking, perceptions, health and behavior – grateful to be here, to be you.
If you have been thinking a lot about what you don’t like or want and you switch to fairly consistent gratitude, you will be amazed at how you feel. Your attitude, disposition and outlook will be much brighter, you may feel like you woke up on the ‘right’ side of the bed. Your body will respond positively too with more vitality, less stress and even some health improvements. The thing is, none of this is chance – the more thankful and grateful you are the better you will feel. You will be improving your happiness without even changing anything in your life except your perception.
Now you may be wondering what to do with all the new and different things you want in your life and I have talked about grateful for what you have. You need to do both. One of the ‘tricks’ in life is to find the fine line between two aspects of life, which we have an example of here with gratitude for what you have and thinking about what you want. Both are required for the most happiness and satisfaction in your life.
Where most of us fall into a trap is when we think it is logical to delineate what we don’t want, actually we just find it easy to complain about it since we have attached emotions that support our dislike. The key is this – you can express thanks for what you have and feel grateful for it, and want more at the same time.
What you shouldn’t do is, to repeatedly express your dislike for something and expect it to change. When continuously expounding on what you don’t want, you get more of it. Every thought you hold is an order to the universe – for what you want. To highlight how pointedly powerful each and every thought is, “I AM” in front of everything you are thinking and feeling. If you are thinking, “(I am) I hate my hair” you are what you want, just as an acorn is saying, “I am an oak tree.” The same forces that ensure the acorn develops as requested is working in your behalf in the same way.
Be grateful for your current situation, it got you here, it is a stepping stone on the path, there is something to learn or gain from it. If anything it is a clue to what you should not be doing, if you don’t like it. But rather than going on about not liking it, let it help you find what you do want.
Also, I am not suggesting using gratitude as a way to ignore anything that needs attention and action. You can be grateful for something and be working on changing or improving it. There is a big difference in thinking about something as you are working with it as opposed to thoughts dwelling on the negative aspects of it.
The bottom line is that there is something about anything that you can find to be grateful for. Sometimes this can be tricky to find and you may need to adjust your perception in order to see it. It could be a lesson or something that needs to be experienced for you or someone else. As you know by now some lessons and experiences can be painful. I just recently had to face this as my wife passed away three months ago.
If there is something in your life that you are having difficulty finding an aspect to be grateful for, don’t let it bog you down, just look at other things that you can be thankful for now. But if you can see the lesson, it is something to be grateful for, because now you know and can do something about it and grow from it. And that is worth being grateful for!
The more you do this, the more you will. Start with whatever you can and you will notice more and more to be grateful about. As you express gratitude for a few things your perceptions will change a little
Writing down what you are thankful for increases your commitment and increases it’s power, and sharing with others does so even more, plus others will benefit from it as well. To share your gratitude and/or the results of your increased gratitude with others, plus get some encouragement and insights reading what others write – go to the Gratitude Journal – see category list.
John Halderman writes and trains in personal growth and development focusing on what can be done daily to enhance your happiness and satisfaction with life through the understanding of how life works, managing your thoughts and purposeful actions.