We all sometimes go through rough phases on life where we feel stuck in a rut. Sometimes it can be a set of unpleasant experiences that are too hard to shake off. It can seem like the light at the end of the tunnel is nowhere in sight.
I have recently returned to the corporate word after a hiatus of two years. And I have to admit the challenges really get to me sometimes. Today I found myself in a very unpleasant state after a very strenuous day. And my mind was doing the typical things minds do in such situations, repeating, recreating and making up more versions of the ‘story’ of my terrible situation.
I realised I needed to break this pattern and stop the endless narration of the ‘story’. And what better way to do this than to adopt the attitude of Gratitude. Here I will share my technique, hoping it helps those stuck in such a negative pattern to break the cycle.
First, I asked myself three simple questions, do you have food to eat, do you have a roof over your head and do you have clothes to wear? The answer is a big yes to all three, imagine how lucky you are. And what I was complaining about suddenly looked so trivial in front of the many people who don’t even have these basic needs met. Agreed that I sometimes have to face some tough challenges, but it seemed nothing compared to the struggles of poverty and what some people have to endure physically and emotionally to earn just enough for a meal.
Second, I asked myself, what is it that I can feel Gratitude for right now? Don’t look at what is wrong, you already know that and remind yourself enough. Instead, what is it that you can be thankful for right in this very moment? And I just stepped out from the story and thought of my family, my beautiful toddler, the fact that I have at least a source of income, my healthy body and more.
What I learnt from this is when you remember the things to be thankful for, it really shifts your perspective and energy. We forget the joys of the present moment when we repeat our story to ourselves even in the moments after it has passed(i.e, your issues at work or in relationships or whatever it may be). Gratitude helps to get out of the endless negative loop. And a constant attitude of gratitude will help you to not slip into the negative loop in the first place.
Would love to hear from you regarding how Gratitude has helped you in challenging situations and times.