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  • The Art of Gratitude – Even When Life is Hard

    I would like to start my post this week by saying thank you to all the people who took the time to read this post, and any of my previous posts.
    This week I had a longer conversation with one of my clients about being grateful. We discussed what does it mean to be grateful, and what are the benefits to practicing being grateful. We spoke about getting used to practicing an habit of saying thank you to your own God, whoever that may be for whatever you have in your life. We don’t have to agree on who God is to us. It can be Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, the universe, karma, or just your own higher power. What matters most, is to recognize that there is something bigger than us in this world. 
    For many years I have been requesting God to help me during tough times, or just found myself thanking him for things I have accomplished/survived throughout my life. It is not until the past five years, when I started to work in treatment when I realized that there is a certain gift you get from saying thank you, and being grateful for what you have. In the base five years, or so whenever I wake up in the morning I have my small talk with God (normally on the car on the way to work). I say thank you for everything I have in my life, and ask for continued blessing me, my family, and my clients for the day to come. At the end of the day, I find myself saying thank you for all that I was given. In all reality, I find myself throughout the day thanking God for the little things that I thought will be a struggle, but ended up working out, and solving by themselves. 
    There’s a sense of calmness, peacefulness, and joy that come along with the sense of gratefulness. There is plenty of research now days that shows the benefits of gratitude. I found two great articles about it here, and here. On days I forget to say thank you in the morning, I find that my days start from a different place and I am normally a little edgy and unhappy. It is normally when we are stressed, and overwhelmed by the things that are not going as we planned or as we wished for when it is hard for us to be grateful. During those times it is when we need to take an inventory and identify what we do have to be grateful for. Let’s face ti, most of the time, it could have been much worst and it is our self-centered attitude and ego that makes us feel as if things are so bad that our days are ruined. So what do we do to stay grateful even during tougher times? 
    The first advice I can give you is to avoid comparing yourself to others. That is one of the worst habits we have as humans. Most of the time, you will find someone who has something you want. This video shows it in a wonderful way. The second advice is to start counting the things you do have, and take for granted. Those things are housing, food, a job, health, transportation, running water, clean air, and many more. Once you start simplify life and stay away from being materialistic you will find you are much richer than you are. Then, you can invest your energy and resources to work harder for what you want versus feeling sorry for yourself for what you do not have. Sometimes, things go slower than wish for, but there is time and place for everything and the wait is normally worth it!! If you need assistance in learning how t shift your focus to positivity and better lifestyle please contact me. Have a blessed Sunday!