Some days it's damn hard to be grateful. To be truly grateful for small things is life changing, it is scientifically proven. Think of three good things right now:
1. A good thing that has happened today, no matter how small.
2. Something that is going well in your life.
3. Notice something you really appreciated recently.
Go on, I challenge you to.
If you have done that, there is a shift in your brain that has occurred and you have become part of the positive psychology revolution. If you carry on doing this over several days it becomes a 'Happiness Habit'. The frontal cortex of your brain actually changes shape, the muscles become stronger and you are literally training yourself to be more aware of the good things in your life.
I know all this. I believe it. I live it. I study it. But. Some days I am so flat I cannot stand. Even the word grateful is too heavy to hold. On those days, shutting my eyes can make my head spin on it's internal roller coaster. So I stare at my discarded books, sweat stained washing and try to find the small voice under it all. Buried under successful Facebook statuses, or triumphant Twitter announcements. A persistent tapping of: 'I'm tired.'
Gratitude has to be authentic. It needs to come from a place of connecting with what is happening in my real life and not my life in comparison with others. I know I should be on my knees grateful for every damn day I live. I live in a city free from war. I have opportunities at every street corner. I do not worry about having food on my plate, or in my children's mouths. I know I live in a society that is materially rich.
On the days my mind is taken apart by my body's inability to move, it's important to remember to listen to the hidden voice, amidst the should, could and must.
The smell of a perfume that brings me into the present moment. The time I took to savour the drink I was able to swallow before beginning my day. An authentic moment to connect to the freedom I have to think my own thoughts. These are the things I am grateful for.
On the days when I truly cannot bear to acknowledge these things, it's time to rest. Delegate. Get help. Notice. Trust there is a difference between giving up and knowing when I've had enough. I'm not a rule follower, I'm not always grateful. Trust me though, it's essential to pack a working torch when you go on an adventure into the dark.
A Moodscope member.