Thinking Out Loud

Thankfulness: How I Try To Live With a Grateful Heart

By Theagarajan_CML

Yep, it’s almost Thanksgiving folks. Whether that day brings you great joy or great anxiety it is in fact a day to recognize and reflect on the parts of your life that make you feel grateful.

No matter what life path you adhere to, spiritual or not, living with a grateful heart is not something that necessarily comes easy to a lot of us. The boss is on your case, your relationship is rocky and someone cut you off this morning. I in no way claim to be enlightened or have all the answers (since we know that’s not true) BUT I will share what I try to do each day to remind myself that even the darkest of days deserve some love.

-When I find myself stuck in a cloud of a lousy day, I physically stop what I’m doing, take a breath and list five things that I’m thankful for. This helps to calm my nerves and refocus my attention on the present.

-There are many things that we might regret in our lives. When I begin thinking about a particular mistake, it quickly escalates to two then three and then before I know it, I’m on a downward self-despairing spiral of guilt. So instead of dwelling on the past, I now tell myself that I am meant to be exactly where I am right now. I’m not saying that if I had Doc Brown’s time machine I wouldn’t gun it to 88 and go back and do it better…but I try not to dwell on it. Nothing good comes of that.

– I have been blessed with knowing some pretty incredible people in my life but there are certain people that I just find to be uncommonly kind. I have a particular friend that I truly admire. This friend will shower love and hope on all situations and amazes me still by simply being available; whether to talk or to listen. Sending an “I’m thinking of you” card for no reason, offering a kind word and most importantly, an ear to listen to anything and everything I need to say. It’s people like this that remind me to be grateful.

Yes, we’re all on different journeys and come from different backgrounds and circumstances but those characteristics should never factor into our ability to give and accept love. Some of the most compelling and compassionate life stories have come from people suffering with unimaginable challenges circumstances yet still live with grateful hearts. So during this holiday season take a step back and give this whole thankfulness a try and happy thanksgiving!

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