Maja's Blog: Gratitude practise
We all live in a busy world. Studying, working, very often coping with these two at the same time. We often want to do our best in every area we perform. We assume that the pressure to be good is put on us by our environment – university, parents or peers. But the truth is that we ourselves create this feeling of constant pressure. And after some time, we end up being exhausted and unfulfilled with our achievements. Because we always think that we could have done something even better. We start to beat ourselves up about not being good enough. And again – the pressure is knocking to our door.
This ongoing feeling of anxiety and distress makes many of us question the ‘real’ purpose of life. What is the point of this never-ending struggle that takes away so much joy and time of our lives?
We begin to seek for the answer to that question. And the more we look for it, the worse we start to feel. Our motivation drops, and we actually start to perform worse. The vicious circle continues.
So many of us have problems with being happy and fulfilled with the current moment. We tend to think a lot about the past and plan the future. Therefore, hardly ever we are present in what we actually do. Days pass and we don’t even realize when this happens. We feel that everything we do is repetitive and pointless. We are unable to admire and appreciate all these beautiful moments our lives are built of. And yes, I also identified myself with this kind of a negative mindset. But some time ago I started to incorporate a simple, yet powerful activity into my everyday life. It is the gratitude practise.
Its aim is to be more grateful and appreciative for simple things and moments that create our existence. It is as simple as writing down 5 things you are grateful for every day. Even though sometimes you feel as you had a really bad day and there is nothing to be grateful for, try to look harder. Maybe you had a nice conversation with a friend, saw a good movie or went for a calming walk. Going further – you were able to do those things because your senses are working properly, and you have got all of your limbs. We take it all for granted without even realizing that there are many people who lack some of those aspects. And don’t get me wrong - practising gratitude has nothing to do with comparing ourselves to others. It is about being able to acknowledge little and positive things in OUR LIVES.
At the beginning it was a really tough thing for me. But with some time, it became a natural and quite easy habit to incorporate. Every time I feel sad and hopeless, I try to remind myself of all these things I am grateful for in my life. It allows me to be more grounded and present. Happy and satisfied with myself at the exact moment. Without nothing to add.
This is what I recommend you to try – grab a piece of paper, take a deep breath and write down at least 3 things you are grateful for now. I am pretty sure that as long as you stick to that habit, you will acknowledge the difference in your mindset and attitude to life. So, why not give it a go?
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