Gratitude is by far the most important thing to cultivate in your life. Gratitude is like a garden, which, if tended to every day, will produce beautiful results. Gratitude is a positive energy source that will deliver strength, courage, and joy, no matter what challenges you face.
If you're anything like me, your life has included many highs and many lows. As a recovering alcoholic and addict, I can assure you that I have experienced a great deal of pain and suffering and have battled a multitude of inner-demons over the years. To this day, I struggle with self-doubt, depression, grief, and sadness. Like every other person on earth, alcoholic or not, I have to work at finding happiness, joy, and peace. One of the ways I do this is by cultivating gratitude, no matter what life might throw at me.
Gratitude is the conscious act of feeling thankful for your blessings. This doesn't mean you ignore the difficulties in your path or act like pain and suffering don't exist. Instead, you counteract suffering by recognizing that no matter how bad things might be at the moment, there are always things to be thankful for in your life.
How do we begin to focus on gratitude if we don't necessarily feel gratitude or don't know where to find it? Simple; start with where you are right now!
Look around you, and I guarantee you'll find something that you can appreciate. It can be anything. Perhaps it's the fact that you have a healthy body that still works and a roof over your head. Or maybe you have something delicious in your kitchen that you can eat, or there's a good television show tonight that you enjoy. If you try hard enough, you will always be able to find at least one or two things to be grateful about: a favorite pet; a good meal; a soft pillow to sleep on; a song you love; a joke that makes you laugh; a good cup of coffee. Be on the lookout for the things in life that bring you joy, no matter how fleeting or insignificant they might seem.
Start with the simple things. Don't focus on the negatives; focus only on things that make you smile and bring you joy.
Over time, expand your list to other areas of your life that make you feel grateful. Perhaps a person you met or the people you love, or an interesting conversation you had, or a work of art you admire. By cultivating gratitude in your daily life, you're much more likely to discover acceptance, peace, and serenity, the ultimate goal of living.
Gratitude should be your number one goal (that's why it's the first on our list). By cultivating a deep sense of gratitude for the good things rather than focusing on the negatives, your garden of joy and happiness will bloom as you absorb the sunlight of thankfulness.
List 3 things that you are grateful for in your life. Keep it simple as you start. Perhaps it's the roof over your head, the food in your refrigerator, or a favorite song. Write any three things that come to your mind that make you feel happy, safe, or content. Try doing this every morning, either mentally or by writing it down.