Gratitude...The Path to Happiness
Gratitude… sounds cliché right? I have found in my life once I started being grateful for the little things, my whole perspective changed. I was in a bad marriage, had depression, anxiety and suffered from PTSD( non related to my marriage). I was in a terrible place mentally for years and didn’t know how I would ever “be happy” again.
I stayed in that place a long time, not realizing that I was choosing to stay there. You are cognizant that you are depressed but it’s “comfortable” because it’s really all you know. It’s easy to keep saying that all these bad things happened to me and this is my life now. I will never be happy again. When I said those works out loud to myself, the thought terrified me. I was a 40 year old woman and did not want to spend the rest of my days feeling the way I did.
I didn’t want to let these terrible, negative things to be the story of my life. I decided in that moment that every single day I would find one thing to be happy and grateful for. And it was not easy. Depression has a strong hold and you get used to thinking negatively, it’s a habit at this point. I just read something that said just thinking sometime negative messes with the serotonin in your brain (you know - the happy chemical) and it takes away the opportunity to experience joy.
So each day I looked for something to appreciate. And seriously it was so hard at first but I challenged myself so I wasn’t going to back down. Thinking negatively is habit forming and to break out, you have to make a conscious decision to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
The first day of my challenge it was our first snow. I hate being cold and snow is not my friend but I really stopped and let myself experience the beauty of fresh fallen snow. Its all about perspective.
Each day I found something small and seemingly inconsequential that was positive, a pretty cloud, my favorite song on the radio, hearing my kids giggle. Just these random things that brought me just a moment of joy each day.
After a few weeks of retraining my brain to think positive, I started finding positive things throughout the day without actually thinking about it. It was becoming just the way I was before depression, PTSD and anxiety. I was starting to come out of that 10 year depression. ( please don’t take this as to say that everyone’s depression can be fixed like this. Mine was not a chemical imbalance, mine was situational) This is just my personal experience.
Fast forward to today. I know am known for my positivity and my childlike awe of the beauty around me. I appreciate all the little things around me and am grateful for them. I attribute my overall happiness to that. Being grateful is one of the best things you can do for yourself. When you are grateful, it brings so much joy and contentment to your life!
I challenge you if you are struggling with negativism to find one thing each day for the month of December and see what a difference it makes in your life!☀️
Who wants to take this challenge? Comment below if you are going to take the plunge and start finding gratitude.