Life doesn’t always go as we expected or as we planned it to be. We can’t always control the events in our lives or know what path our life may take us down, but we do have the ability to choose how we experience life.
We have the power to choose our attitude.I know so many people who are faced with difficult trials that I know that I could not bear but they chose to stay positive; they chose happiness. It is important to change our perspective on things. At the end of the day, how we perceive life is what it is all about. This can mean the difference between being miserable and being happy.
In Victor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning he tells of experiences of being in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Despite the terrible circumstances he found himself able to find meaning and happiness in his life. Here is a quote from his book, “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you”.
Even amongst the worst circumstances there is always something you can find to be grateful for.
An Attitude of Gratitude has been linked to better health, long term satisfaction, and kindness towards others.
Here are some suggestions on how to start finding things to be grateful for:
Keep a Gratitude Journal: You will be amazed how writing down all the things you are grateful for will change your life. Once a week list 5 things in which you felt grateful for during the previous week; such as a friendly gesture from a stranger, something learned or even a beautiful sunset. Study done found that those who kept a gratitude journal were more optimistic and felt happier than those who did not.
Gratitude Visit/Letter: Select one important person from your past who has changed your life for the better and thank them. Be specific about what the person did and how their actions affected you and deliver/read it in person.
It’s time to look around and realize what you already have and to be grateful. As Corrie ten Boom said, “Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings…It’s something we make inside ourselves.”