This time of year is all about gratitude, giving thanks for the good in our lives. I agree this is important, yet why do we seem to focus on this mostly at the end of the year? What if we were to focus on the positive in our lives throughout the year?
Being the visual learner I am, I tend to think in pictures so I use a lot of analogies. The one that comes to mind for gratitude is driving in a car and being aware of where our eyes are focused. If we are driving along and see an accident, we tend to focus on that. We forget to refocus and look ahead. If we stay focused on the negative, chances are we are going to crash! The accident represents the negative events in our lives…and we all have some negative. Life happens; it gives us negative and positive events.
However, if we accept we will have negative events AND focus on the good in our lives, i.e. be grateful for even the smallest blessing, then the negative will lose its sense of power over us. Yes, we will still experience it but we will know that we have positive events to look forward to as well.
So, I challenge you to use this time of Thanksgiving and gratitude as a starting point. Every day take time to think about the good you experienced, even on those days where nothing seems good. Find something. If you can walk, be grateful for your legs. If you can see be grateful for your eyes. If you can hear…well, you get the idea. Look for the good in your life to balance the not so good.
As you do this, pay attention to where your eyes start to focus. Your tendency becomes to look forward toward the good and move yourself out of the negative. This improved mood not only helps us to feel better, it improves our interactions with others. We pass on our positivity. And that, my friends, is a gift to be grateful for!