The Power of Being Grateful
Having gratitude is said to be the answer to our overall health. When you think of this, it makes perfect sense. Some of our main stress comes from not being able to live a life of gratitude and contentment. It all stems from trying to outdo one another – which, in turn, induces competition. Behind that comes covetousness, mental disorders (such as anxiety, depression, bipolar) and even the good old ‘midlife crisis’.
When we get to midlife, it is very easy to get caught up in midlife issues (midlife crisis, mental instability, etc.). This occurs because we begin to judge and question ourselves, our abilities and achievements. This is also the period when we compare what we have with the next-door neighbor, family members and so on. If we are not tuned in to the right frequency of our lives – taking time to enjoy the little things and living in the moment, unrealistic goals and wants set in. It will not be long before we start experiencing what is mentioned above (midlife crisis, anxiety, depression). This is the outcome of lacking appreciation for the little things in our lives – items such as being able to wake up each morning; having the ability to walk; enjoy our favorite meals and so on. It is the simple things that bring us the most joy and when we begin to recognize each one with gratitude and contentment, we experience peace and happiness – erasing the discomforts that come along when we lack this skill.
I have learned over the years to live in the now. That means having the mindset that allows me to keep my focus, paying attention to the little things in my life. For me, that is going food shopping on weekends and stocking up my fridge with the things that we enjoy; it’s jumping in my old Altima to get to the gym to do my laps at the pool; it’s meeting with my six-year-old grandson so that we can watch the movie ‘the Incredibles’ (smiling). I have never been one to live above my means. It takes very little to please me, which in turn, puts me in a state of mind where I am grateful for everything that I have. Don’t get me wrong, I love nice things and always strive for the best, but I am usually contented with what I am able to do at the time. Because my peace and happiness are important to me, I try to pay more attention to being grateful and content with what I do have rather than allow society to dictate where I should be or what I should have at this point in my midlife years.
We all have stages that we go through in our lives. During the 20’s and 30’s, most of us marry off and begin our journey of the family life. If that takes a wrong turn, the lucky ones can break away and take another shot at it (family life). Whether it’s alone or with another partner, we all go after feeling fulfilled at something. We just need to be doing it with the right mind-set.
Having the ability to reinvent that wheel and succeed is no easy task, so I would like to commend those that are able to do so effectively. To turn around and beat yourself up for not being further in your life because of setbacks is not a healthy thing to do. Just look at the millions of cases where others are trapped in their respective situations, unable to move left or right – having no other choice but to live a make believe and staged life because of myriad arranged situations (children, property, etc.); this could be a real live nightmare! Striving for our peace and happiness should be our number one priority not material things. And that is where contentment will play a huge part..
Everything that is needed in our lives are well within our reach, we just need to go after it and for the right reasons; we all know how common this is. We sometimes go after things for the wrong reasons and when we get it, we are still unhappy. This is why having gratitude for what we have right now is so very important. Once you’re in this mode, you will find your happiness.
The other part of this token is learning how to accept yourself for who you are. It is a whole lot easier to be you than pretend to be someone else; it is literally impossible to fake being you. When you can understand who you are and what you stand for (having principles), that is the beginning of something fascinating. The world needs the uniqueness of each of us as individuals and that’s what makes all of us count. Always thriving to be the person that you are meant to be puts you in a grateful state of mind; hence, making you comfortable in your own skin. When you try to be someone you are not is when the problems begin.
Another part of gratefulness is our beliefs. It is understood that having a grateful heart is a blessing because you are leaving yourself opened to the spiritual world. When you can see the big picture of something out there being bigger than us and humbling yourself to that fact with faith, doors open to places you didn’t know were possible.
I used to have cases of anxiety, bringing on panic attacks and the whole nine yards. It occurred because I was going ahead of myself a lot in thoughts. Downing excessing sugar while I was in this mode didn’t help matters either (smiling). Today, I’ve learned to take things a lot slower, doing my visualization but not making myself crazy with the racing thoughts. I know what I was capable of but was losing patience with how fast I needed things to happen. Now, I pace myself because I see the good in most of what takes place around me. It is a real blessing when you can look past all of the negative stuff that transpires. This helps to weaken whatever bad energies are trying to gain strength in your life.
Learning to see the glass half full and looking at the light rather than darkness give your life a whole different prospective. These are all items that are discussed in the bible (see Philippians 4 vs 4-13; 1 Timothy 6 vs 1-12; and Hebrews 13 vs 5). These are all chapters that discuss gratitude and contentment. Whatever your beliefs are, it is a known fact that living with a thankful heart and/or gratefulness no matter what the circumstances, overrides a lot. This, I believe gives us the ability to live this thing called life in a more rewarding and fulfilling manner, making the ride to those golden years a lot more enjoyable and fulfilling.