Can you believe how fast this year’s going? For those of us in the U.S., Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And 2018 is quickly coming to a close. Considering the season, I thought this would be the perfect time to revisit the topic of gratitude.
Last year, I talked about the impact that trying a gratitude practice had in my life. I loved the experience of keeping daily gratitude notes! But to be honest, I haven’t kept up with it much over the past several months. And I’ve definitely noticed the difference between those times that I’m actively appreciative of the goodness in my life and those days that I’m not. Both my mood and mindset are completely different when I make it a point to find the positivity around me. I feel better and, naturally, I show up better to the people and things in my life.
So for today’s post I thought it would be interesting to explore a few common pitfalls that can get in the way of us feeling grateful. Because if we know what they are, then we’re that much more prepared to avoid falling into their trap!
So here are 3 common habits/impulses that can stand between us and the experience of gratitude.
- Comparing ourselves to others: My last blog post covered this particular topic in depth, but here’s a little refresher. Looking at somebody else’s life isn’t the best way of measuring our own. And when we get caught up in thinking about another person’s success and blessings, it keeps us too busy to notice our own. We may still be waiting for a big win to happen, but all of us experience little wins every day. And all of us (even those who seem like they’re always winning) go through struggle as well. My favorite thing about the daily gratitude practice was that it was so helpful for recognizing the constant little wins happening right alongside the hardships. It took my focus off other people and brought it back to my personal experience.
- Over-consuming Information: Technology has given us an incredible amount of access to things these days. It’s so helpful for keeping up with what’s going on in our lives and the world around us. But it’s certainly a lot of information to take in. When we’re constantly plugged in to things like the news, our email, social media, group chats, etc… well that doesn’t leave us much time or mental space for anything else. Of course, it’s also draining. A gratitude practice is a great way to fill back up, but we can’t fill up a bucket that’s already overflowing. What we can do is take back control of what’s in that bucket. There’s plenty of information available for us to consume, but do we really need or want to be consuming it all? Distinguishing between the necessary and unnecessary information is how we can create pockets of time and mental space in our life. Letting go of unnecessary stress and allowing in more joy.
- Skewed Perspective: Our point of view is the biggest determinant of what we see. So if we’re mostly paying attention to our mistakes, shortcomings, and the stress in our life – well, then that’s all we’ll mostly experience. But if we shift our perspective, then we can also shift our experience. If we make just as much effort to see the goodness in each day as the not-so-good, we might actually be surprised by how much is going right for us.
Gratitude is a state of mind. When our mind is in this space, the other parts of our life will naturally follow suit.
And that’s it for today. I hope this list helps you cultivate more joy every day!
Before I go, I’d love to hear from YOU! What’s one thing you’re grateful for today?
Peace and blessings,
P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me.