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Remember to count your blessings…

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Rough and tough huh?… We need to stop for a moment and  remember to count our blessings every single day.  Think about this for a moment, you have a roof over your head, you eat at least two meals a day, you have access to a computer and the internet and obviously you are educated enough to read this article…. In other words, what I am saying is that you have in life received so much more opportunities, material goods and an education to boot than the majority of the whole world’s population put together. In fact, you actually have more positive experiences than negative ones in life than you are probably aware and why?, because many just don’t bother to see … hence why you should stop for a moment. However, due to problems that burden us from time to time in life, it is inevitable that we often fail to see, let alone remember, the blessings that we actually have around us because habits have been developed allowing us to have that tendency of giving too much importance to our problems…. hence you are thinking more often then not with a negative mind-set.

As humans, we have a tendency to focus on what’s wrong…in short, negativity. Our perspective is rather biased toward negativity and therefore our minds tend to think bad as being greater than good. Because of this we are much more likely to remember and give more attention to the negative situations, our losses and or criticisms made rather than remember our gains, praises received… in other words any positive events. In short, all it takes at times is just one comment made or word said by someone which could lead to our whole day that started out absolutely lovely to be spoilt. Although, it could be said as humans that our tendency of giving any weight to negativity may actually assist us by highlighting potential dangers that could arise to avoid… a sort of survival mechanism you might say. However in this day and time this negativity bias is more often than not appropriate which could instead lead to an increase in stress and or a possible distortion of how we may visualise reality.

Sometimes, we forget what is right. When, for example, you buy a new car, receive a promotion at work, or you perhaps have entered into a new relationship, you acquire an increase of joy filling you with renewed happiness due to the occurrence of such happening. But these joyful events overtime lose their ability to bring us any renewed happiness as we become accustomed to said events, consequence of which we have a tendency of failing to appreciate what we do have and instead being grateful for all we have it has gone, is lost, no longer there. Often, and perhaps sadly, it takes for example, for us to become severely ill before we develop an appreciation for our health… same applies to the people in our lives near and dear and those that cross it. Such tendencies can be overcome by acknowledging gratitude as it has tremendous benefits within our lives, our health and our happiness.

Gratitude is powerful… Pause for a moment and recall a time when you last, recently, felt grateful.  During such experiences of gratefulness, what you will note is that our negativity goes out the window and instead of focussing on all the wrongs that are going on in our lives, we begin to recall at that point the blessings that do surround us… it could be, for example, perhaps you received some assistance from someone or maybe even perhaps it was just simply a gorgeous day touched by the warmth of the sunshine, maybe it was the beauty of the clarity and suns reflection over the sea, or it could perhaps have been you were just overwhelmed by the love that exists in your life. Gratitude fills us with a renewed feeling of appreciation, love, thankfulness and happiness for the presence of not only the things we do have but also for a certain person or persons in our life and the care shown, for example, by a partner, friend, mother, father and so on.

When we appreciate what we do have in our lives, we are less insecure about the things we don’t have and discover we may have a lesser need for more as gratitude decreases our feelings of materialism and envy. It is an essential contributor toward our joy, health and wellbeing in life. It not only increases our altruism as well as our social connections, but also improves our optimism, creativity and positive emotions impacting longevity in turn, benefitting our relationships and physical ailments.
In life we will always come across some difficult situations and things to grouch about. Albeit the situation may not change and you have a choice to either take charge of your wellbeing remembering to smile at everything that is right or allow the situations to control the state of your mind and ruin your day. The mind set you choose is yours.

When you are experiencing a period of negativity, do yourself a favour and give yourself a reality check  shut your eyes for a moment and count your blessings because for as long as you are alive, the chances are that there is so much working in your favour. Reflect also upon your lucky stars too that are helping to aid counter habituation allowing for continual celebration of all ways in which you are blessed.

Cultivating gratitude is of phenomenal benefit and can take you down a path leading to extraordinary results. Even though we express our gratefulness and give thanks etc on Thanksgiving day, it is only but once a year. By acknowledging gratitude through out the year daily is a habit I believe well worth developing and there are various ways you can do this; such as taking a moment at the end of your day to write in your journal, maybe write out a list or, at the very least, reflect on your day. Think about all the people, the things that have occurred, your environments and achievements acquired… everything you are grateful for. As you do this you become aware and notice things that happen each day that supports you, for example, the driver, the bus driver, the danfo driver, the taxi driver, the door man, the cleaner, your colleague at work, the cash register attendant, your manager,  your best friend, your partner and so on. In some form, albeit at different degrees and or levels, each person is helping you in some way.

Endeavour to make more of an effort to express and show your gratitude to those around you, especially those closest to you, as often we forget to tell them just how much we appreciate them, their help, support and affection. Take a few minutes in your day to express your gratitude.  Perhaps you could send your partner a little note and or flowers, maybe write a recommendation on LinkedIn for a colleague or friend or perhaps a note of thanks to an old school teacher, mentor, or maybe even to the nurses who attended to you or a family member during a spell in hospital. Take a moment everyday to see and count your blessings and  be thankful for all that you do you do have for you have so much more than is realize.

Keep in mind that “Gratitude is gratifying.”


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BlessingMary Alade
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