- We Choose to be Grateful
- How do I choose to be grateful? You ask.
Just grateful! The large billboard with a beautiful, smiling, young woman, appeared to mock me, as I drove past. She wasn’t smiling a halfhearted or narrow smile; she wore a hearty smile. It seemed to give the indication that she was having the time of her life. I usually pass this billboard every morning on my way to work. Many mornings, I absentmindedly acknowledge it. But today as I drove by, I thought to myself, “it is easy to be grateful when life is going good for you; you look like your life is just perfect.” This is what I wanted to say to the woman on the billboard. If she would have come alive just then, she and I would have had a healthy conversation about what it means to be grateful. But instead, I mulled over my own thoughts and later turned to my computer.
We Choose to be Grateful
I concluded that being grateful is an attitude and not a feeling. It is an attitude that we choose. Therefore, it is not dependent on my circumstances. It does not have to be accompanied by an outward smile or appearance of jolliness, because that is not a guaranteed indication of gratitude. There is not necessarily any outward sign to indicate that a person is grateful.
But I do believe that gratitude produces positive energy. I believe it produces a gravitational pull, inviting positive and good things into our lives. I believe gratitude has to be a choice we make, but it has to be one we make daily and consciously. We make choices all the time. Many of them, we make unconsciously. For instance, you made the choice to brush your teeth this morning, but it was not a choice you had to think about. You did it unconsciously.
In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey writes, “our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.” Further, “what matters most is how we respond to what we experience in life.” Between stimulus and response lies your freedom to choose, your attitude and your response. You can choose to be grateful.
You can also read: The Eye-opening Benefits of Gratitude.
How do I choose to be grateful? You ask.
Look for the Silver Lining
You know the adage,” behind every dark cloud, there is a silver lining.” The silver lining may not be apparent at the given time, but if we take an objective look at the situation we can identify it. Or, it may reveal itself in time. We can look for the positive in every situation and make a conscious choice to be grateful for the experience. We can be open to learning from the experience, to new ideas and growth.
Examine the situation objectively and choose to shift your perspective; see the situation differently. Sometimes a simple shift in perspective can affect our attitude dramatically. Once you have done this, try journaling about it. I find writing things down help to make them more concrete. Use affirmative “I” statements as part of your journaling. “I can…”, “I get to…” “I choose….” You get the idea.
Counting Your Blessings
Sometimes we focus so much on what is going bad that it casts a dark shadow on all that is going well. It overshadows all that is good in our lives.
What are the good things that are happening in your life? Yes, some things may be going bad. But what are the things that are going well? What are the blessings in your life? What are the things you value that are present in your life? Which of your core values have you been adhering to?
Your blessings aren’t always the big things. It could be that warm cup of tea or coffee you just had, or the birds chirping outside your window and the fact that you can hear them, it means that your ears are working. Maybe it is the gentle breeze brushing your skin, reminding you that you are loved by a Creator and, those around you. All of our blessings may be different, but the point is we all have blessings, big or small. So, count your blessings. This too, will create a significant shift in attitude.
So, how to be grateful when things are going bad? Simple! You just choose to be grateful. Make it a daily, conscious choice. Looking for the silver lining in every bad situation and counting your blessings often, will help in making that choice so much easier.
For many of us, myself included, this takes practice. But that’s ok. You got this!
I am so happy that you stopped by my blog. Comments are welcomed and do share this with a friend, if you found it helpful.
Until next time ~ Namaste🙏
6 replies on “How To Be Grateful Even When Things Are Going Bad”
A timely reminder…… Leona thanks for this blog. Keep pushing your pen.
Thanks Karen for always supporting the blog🙂
Thank you Leona. I am reminded to continue working on having an attitude of gratitude daily. When I embrace An attitude of gratitude it sucks the life out of murmuring and kills complaining. Life happens and sometimes I forget. Thanks again!
Thanks Verna! Well said, gratitude “sucks the life out of murmuring and kills complaining.” There is no time for complaining if we are grateful💕
Great piece of inspiration, what a word of encouragement to be grateful everyday. Thanks for the blog Leona, am truly grateful for people like you who can inspire others to be grateful!!!
Thanks Martina! Sending you so much love❤❤❤