The world we live in is materialistic, no doubt about it. The newest, biggest, best of anything trumps the used, older and last year’s model.
Whether it’s your house, car, furniture, electronics or wardrobe, there will always be something newer and shinier that makes you feel like what you have isn’t enough. It may feel like what you have isn’t fast enough, big enough, expensive enough, new enough.
How can we ever be satisfied with if there is always more?
While we’re inundated with messages every day about things we must have, how to live, what’s the latest and greatest, we oftentimes forget to appreciate the things we already have right in front of us, especially the non-materialistic and intangible.
We’re so focused on what’s right around the corner and how we can obtain the next level, we don’t take the time to be grateful and appreciate what we already have.
It’s easy to forget that others would love to be in your shoes. They’d give anything to have what you have because they have far less.
It’s most likely is not the material objects that they want – it’s the stability you have in your life.
Are you able to buy groceries? Do you have a steady paycheck? Do you own your home or are able to pay rent every month on time? Do you have a job? Does your car work and are you able to buy things you need if you must? Do you have healthy children and a solid marriage? Are you close with your parents and adult siblings?
What amazing things you have in your life!
That you can provide for yourself, provide for others and provide for your family. That what you’re most thankful for may not be anything more than the love you share with your family. That’s incredible and something you should never take for granted. Be grateful for all the successes you’ve had, the hard work and hours you’ve put forward to be able to live the life you do.
Stop comparing yourself to your friends, colleagues, family and those that may have more than you. Live your own life and be grateful for what you have right now.
You have no idea at what expense other people’s big homes, fancy cars, newest edition electronics may have cost them.
It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the daydreaming of having more but you stop being grateful for all the things you have in your life when you start thinking it’s not enough. If you live your life wishing for more, you’ll always be searching for the next thing and will miss out on really seeing all that you’ve accumulated in your life now.
Being content is the feeling of completeness, of incredible appreciation and being humbled for your blessings. You yourself can have these feelings of content and completeness one you learn to express your gratitude for the things that you have now, each and every day.
It can be as simple as expressing gratitude for being able to buy a full cart of groceries or filling up your car’s gas tank. Take a moment to say out loud – to yourself or to others – or just think it, “Thank You.”
It may be a feeling of gratitude for paying your mortgage or rent on the 1st of the month or putting money away for retirement. Take a moment to say out loud – to yourself or to others – or just think it, “Thank You.”
It can be an appreciation for nature and the fresh air you had on your hike that morning. It could be listening to music you love, a book that lets your escape or think a little deeper. Take a moment to say out loud – to yourself or to others – or just think it, “Thank You.”
It may be something meaningful your child said to you this morning. Nothing is too small, too big or too insignificant to express gratitude for. Take a moment to say, “Thank You.”
You may express gratitude every day for your health. Are you able to exercise, walk, run, grow a baby, chase after toddlers and have meaningful relationships with others? That’s amazing and you must be thankful for all of these things, as simple and every day as they may seem. Be appreciative for your good health, for a strong body that lets you exercise, to grow another human being and all the miraculous things it does for you all day long.
Practicing gratitude when you are thankful for an object or possession that is important to you, a relationship, an accomplishment, finances, stability, a conversation, a thought or the beauty of the earth around you. Say “Thank You.”
Begin the practice of finding things you are grateful for each day – no matter how big or how small. Even when things have gone wrong, try to find the silver lining and a moment that you may still be thankful for.
Showing appreciation shouldn’t be perceived as a challenge, instead, look it as a positive choice that you make every day and one that will surely change your life. You choose to find the things you are appreciative for and see things in a positive way instead of negative.
BENEFITS OF BEING GRATEFUL
- Sleep Better
- Have a Better Immune System and Lower Blood Pressure
- Build Stronger Relationships With Others
- You will Become Less Susceptible to Depression, Anxiety and Substance Abuse
- You Can Face Adversity and Handle Stress Better
- A Positive Attitude and Outlook on Life
HOW TO PRACTICE SHOWING GRATITUDE
- Keep a journal and write down several things each day that you are grateful for
- Tell people that you appreciate them either in person, over the phone, email or in a letter
- Take a moment to acknowledge things you are grateful for as they appear or you notice in your day whether by silently being grateful or saying it out loud to yourself or to others
Do you have a practice for expressing your gratitude? Do you take time during the day to think about the things you are grateful for or do you do it at intervals throughout the day?