Each week, in my Facebook group, The Stress Free Society, we celebrate Thankful Thursdays where we do a weekly gratitude blast and share what we are grateful for. (Click here to join us if you haven’t yet!)
This week, as I was going through my own gratitude list, I was reminded of the quote, “The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for. Be thankful.” – Unknown
I quickly realized that looking at our lives in this way is one of the fastest ways to be grateful for what we have.
Here is an exercise that you can do right now to shift to an attitude of gratitude.
- Think about the things that most stress you out about your life.
- Shift this circumstance into a positive, by looking at it from the point of view of someone who is currently praying for the very same thing that you are currently experiencing.
- Now that you have adopted this new mindset, there is no going back! Take a moment to feel grateful for your life… ALL OF IT. Exactly as it is right now.
Here are some examples of how you would put this into action:
Maybe you are frustrated that you are single, while everyone around you seems to be getting married and living happily ever after. Instead, think about all of the people who are praying for the courage to leave dysfunctional relationships. Think about how much they would love to feel independent and not have the weight of a relationship that’s not working holding them down.
Perhaps you are stressed out by your job. Think about all of the people who are praying for the security of a weekly paycheck.
Maybe you are annoyed that you live with your parents. Think about all of the people who would love nothing more than to be able to go back to their childhood home or be supported by their families.
There is always something to be thankful for if you search deep enough.
If you want to take this one step further, look at your current circumstances and see where in your life you are currently experiencing the very things that YOU once prayed for.
Have you accomplished your life-long dream of having babies and being a mother? Are you able to support yourself and live on your own without having to depend on anyone? Have you accomplished your goal of becoming a teacher, getting a raise, or owning your own business? Are you in the happy relationship you always hoped for? Are you living in the beautifully decorated home you always pictured yourself in?
In our world, it’s very common to accomplish our hopes and dreams, and immediately move on to the next goal that we want to accomplish, without taking the time to celebrate all that we have already achieved!
Take some time this week to hit pause. Look back on all of the things you once prayed for. Notice the ones that have become your reality. Be grateful for that. Stop wishing for more for a moment, and take a minute to enjoy all of the beautiful gifts that you already have.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah