“Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful…” is a phrase we have all uttered at some point in our lives. This sentence is usually either preceded or followed by some sort of complaint. “I don’t understand how all these Instagrammers have so much money for nothing. Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful for what I have. I just wish I could make money doing nothing!”
We are all guilty of this—I know I definitely am. Although I am less envious of Instagram model money and more envious of people who just know what the hell they are doing in life. Personally, I am clueless. (And not in the good Cher Horowitz kind of way!)
It’s normal to feel jealousy for something that someone else has. Acting on it and doing terrible things because of it, is not. We can appreciate other people’s lives and maybe even wish for it ourselves, but it is important that we remember all the good fortune that we have in our own lives. Gratitude is important.
Gratitude helps us gain a different, positive perspective. It helps keep us grounded and makes us realise what is important.
And the good thing about gratitude is that there is no set of scales or measurements involved. You don’t need to have a certain thing/person in order to feel grateful. You can feel gratitude over something huge (being alive, your health) or the tiniest, most irrelevant thing in the world (the sound of the ocean, the taste of chocolate). If you program your mind to feel grateful and show your gratitude to the people and things you love, then not only will your perspective of life change, but so will your general feelings.
I know this probably sounds very hippie-dippie, and I can physically feel your eyes rolling as you read this, but gratitude does actually work.
Whenever I feel sad about my life or the things I don’t have/haven’t done, I always think about my family/friends, my health, and all the experiences I have been lucky enough to have in my life, and I feel better. My focus shifts back to reality and my very fortunate, privileged life.
I am definitely not saying that gratitude will make you forget about all the things you want and make you complacent with a mediocre life, but it does help the sadness and envy you feel when you see the life/things you want that you don’t quite have yet.
It is all about changing your perspective. Do you remember that annoying, but age-old saying about the cloud and the silver lining? Yep, that bad boy is all about perspective. You can always find the positive if you try hard enough. Gratitude helps you find the positives in life.
Now everyone, go and grab your sage and your crystals, we’re about to cleanse our chakras…
But if you do want to take your practice of gratitude to another level, you can always keep a gratitude journal and write down all the things you’re grateful for daily/weekly.