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Gratitude is a powerful emotion. Whatever we go looking for is usually what we find. Have you ever noticed that if you come into a situation with a cranky attitude, you find even more things to irritate you?
Gratitude can work the same way. If you are actively looking for things to be grateful for, they start to appear. It really does seem to fall in line with the Law of Attraction.
I have never been a Pollyanna, but I do try to look for silver linings, especially in challenging situations.
Negativity can take you out, so I think it is helpful to always try to find something to be grateful for even when we find ourselves in stressful situations.
I have learned to temper my expression of looking for silver linings, though, because some people can receive it as “toxic positivity.”
Have you heard this term? It is when we say things or act in such a way that can make others feel pressured to display only positive emotions, suppressing negative reactions or experiences.
A recent example for me came during the Pandemic. My daughter was a senior in college when everything shut down, including universities. She did not get to complete her senior year on campus.
She was very upset about it, and I felt helpless but was trying to point out positive things, like “at least this happened during a time in the world when online classes make it possible to still graduate. If this had happened during my Stone Age college days, we would have been out of luck.” Helpful stuff like that. 🙂
She asked me to stop “at leasting” her, 🙂 because it made her feel like I was minimizing the gravity of the situation. I absolutely did not intend to make her feel that way, but I understand now and have tried to be careful not to do that to people since she pointed it out.
So again, I’m not talking about fake happiness or toxic positivity. I’m talking about true gratitude for the things that come our way. Some days it can be hard. Some days you might only be able to say, “I’m thankful for a car that runs, a roof over my head, and food.” But those are not small things.
Other days will feel abundant. You will find many things to be grateful for. But the point is to LOOK. Always try to be in a frame of mind where you are on the lookout for things to be grateful for. This is how we embrace gratitude.
This weekend I tried a new detergent that made my blankets smell really clean, my neighbor came over and brought me fresh collard greens from his garden, (along with his wife’s recipe for preparing them, and he brought my mail as he passed by my mailbox!) and it was cold enough in Texas to build a fire in my fireplace. 🙂 Good stuff.
It cultivates happiness.
If you’re having trouble getting started with incorporating gratitude into your life, I have a freebie for you that gives you 10 great ways to embrace gratitude.
Actions like starting a gratitude journal, examining forgiveness, showing kindness to strangers, accepting compliments, and other practical ways to embrace gratitude.
It’s a 12-page digital download, so you will have instant access. Just print it out and work through it at your leisure. It will be delivered right to your inbox.
Just enter your email below, and I’ll send it right over!
If you need a Gratitude Journal, I have one available. You can take a look here!
What are you grateful for? I’d love to know!
And I’d love for you to follow me on Pinterest!