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Gratitude isn’t just a practice of saying thank you, but also the process of focusing your attention away from problems and danger and onto things which are good.
It takes a lot of practice to make gratitude a habit, because our mind are usually powerful problem detectors.
Since gratitude is a relative experience, it’s often useful to recognize how many things aren’t problems in your life, but you just never notice them.
Even if you feel like you don’t live in great conditions, that your friends have better jobs and relationships there were many points in time when things could have been much, much worse.
If we feel like someone else is getting a better deal than us, we’re likely to throw it back in their face.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t fight against unfairness, but there will always be unfairness in life and so it’s better to step back and see that opportunities we get in life aren’t always so bad, even if others seem way better.
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You may notice that often when you are in a bad mood you don’t do very much. Depressed people often perpetuate their mood by remaining in the same environment.
Going to see friends, watching a movie, reading a book, even doing the errands and chores that need to be done, are all methods of getting new input.
Adopting a gratitude practice takes you out of the problem and toward a solution.
It removes you from complaining mode and into a best-outcomes mindset.
Watch your words. What you say is usually how you act, so be aware of complaining and replace whines with positive words. Start with you, be the change and watch as the world changes around you and your gratitude practice.
The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.
Gratitude is not only about being thankful for positive experiences. Sometimes thinking about negative or difficult situations can help to really nail down what you have to be thankful for.
Dig a little deeper into some of your own past experiences and try to figure out how they have helped shape you into the person you are today.
Sit down daily and think through five to ten things you are grateful for.
Picture it in your mind and sit with that feeling of gratitude in your body. Doing this every day will rewire your brain to be naturally more grateful, and you’ll start feeling happier after every session.