Despite being thoroughly convinced how positive thinking can be so powerful in shaping my life, my destiny, I still need reminders (every day!) to re-shift my focus to the positive. It seems that we are naturally wired to default to negative thinking.
Why is that? Why is it so much easier to complain than to address the issue? To worry than to pray in faith? To think of the worst than to expect for the best? To point the finger outward rather than to take responsibility? To critique rather than to compliment? To lash out hateful comments than to give uplifting words? Why are there more trolls in the virtual world? Or why do these haters have so much time, energy and motivation to attack even (or especially) the people they don’t know?
As I was saying, despite having decided to choose a positive life, I still wake up to days with negative thoughts in my head. I know it cannot be entirely avoided. What I did learn though is that the best way to start in the path of positivity is adopting an attitude of gratefulness.
Gratitude is the root of joy. It is the beginning of training one’s eyes to see the silver lining in every dark cloud, to find a reason to be grateful even for the direst of circumstances. Starting a gratitude journal –and writing the 1 to 3 things you are grateful for before you end the day — helps you develop this habit in a more conscious and concrete form. This was how I started. And I beam with more gratitude whenever I leaf through the pages and reminisce about the things I was thankful for. Now I don’t maintain a gratitude journal on a daily basis anymore. But I catch myself on occasions throughout the day saying a prayer of gratitude for random things. It has become a way of life now. And I end the day praying with the kids and passing on this habit by asking them what their favorite moments were and saying thank you for them one by one.
Today, the Timehop app reminded me of this Facebook post I wrote last year. It was a moment when I chose not to give in to my depression, of being locked up in the room and losing sleep to take care of a demanding newborn. Sitting up in bed, baby in my arms, I looked around and saw something from the window.
I learned that I never ran out of reasons to be grateful for, and majority of these things were not things, but very simple moments. It validates the truth that one does not need money to be happy, and it doesn’t take much to choose a blissfully positive life.
Today, I am grateful for my life and for the best birthday gift ever — my first baby who was given to me on the morning of my birthday 3 years ago.