Not so long ago I lived life back to front. I would spend time trying to perfect the things that weren’t right, stew over situations that hadn’t gone my way, and berate myself for illconsidered ideas. Too often, I’d skip over celebrating goals I had conquered in favour of tackling what was next on my ‘to do’ list.
I soon discovered I wasn’t alone in this topsy-turvy approach. The white whines from strangers about cold lattes, slow smart phone connections, and costly shipping for online shopping, confirmed that others were also caught in this infinite loop of dissatisfaction. It got me thinking, why do we pay more attention to what is wrong in our lives rather than to what is
I recently read, “What you think about and thank about, is what you bring about.”
We live in a culture that values achievement over appreciation – if you’re not looking to top your last victory, you’re not moving forward in life. But as we keep moving the goal posts, we make it increasingly difficult to manifest the perfect life we long for. How often have you achieved a goal only to feel empty inside?
Many of us take for granted the good things we already have in our lives; in fact, many of us forget that we even have them. Our desire to continually grow, be challenged or change means we no longer take time out to sit and enjoy the moment. Yet it is this overlooked expression of gratitude that can instantly improve our wellbeing.
There are many methods to practising the gratitude attitude. For me, the easiest, most effective way is to jot down (or recall in my mind) three things that went well today. From finding a parking spot at the supermarket to a client accepting my work proposal, spending time each day acknowledging what went right reminds me that good things can and do happen to me all the time.
Why is expressing gratitude good for you? According to research by Dr Michael McCollough and Dr Robert Emmons, practising daily gratitude can result in higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism and energy. Their studies revealed people were less depressed and stressed, exercised more regularly, made more progress toward personal
goals, and were more likely to feel loved.
Personally, I’ve tried to complain less and celebrate more. Where I’d previously throw thankyou’s in as courteous conversation punctuation, I now ensure they’re backed by genuine appreciation. In the same way I congratulate others for their achievements, I pause to celebrate my own wins, no matter how trivial.
When you celebrate what’s right in your world, you begin to see the infinite possibilities, the multitude of solutions to your perceived problems, which previously were hidden from your view. The next time you feel like life is not going your way, take the time to consider what has turned out in your favour. You could already be living the perfect life you’ve been dreaming of, all that’s required is for you to stop and notice.
Miss T Tonic believes that anything is possible. A strategist, designer and creative tactician, she spends her days taking great ideas and turning them into reality at Howl Communications and Style to a T . A passionate storyteller, she shares her insights on business, life and doing more of what you love at Howl Hatchery.