Considering we are living right smack in the middle of a global pandemic and economic crisis, it might be particularly hard to find things we are thankful for this year.
I even feel a bit like a hypocrite to be writing to you about the importance of having a gratitude mindset. I’m a cynical, often depressed, occasional nihilist who is always “so over it.” But maybe that’s why my opinion on the topic is just what you need.
Sometimes I worry about everything that is going wrong or could go wrong. Other times I focus on being grateful and thankful for the things that are going right. Having a gratitude mindset makes me better off every time. Being grateful for what I have as opposed to being resentful for what I don’t have is how I’ve gotten to have more.
Regularly practicing gratitude means you have a growth mindset as opposed to a scarcity mindset. It lets you take stock of what you have and gives you the drive to go out and take actionable steps to better your situation. A scarcity mindset paralyzes you mentally. It produces insecurities and keeps you in a perpetual state of lack and even suffering.
It’s all about perspective. There’ll always be something better you could have, just as things could always be worse. Choose to dwell on what you have and be thankful for it.
I can’t tell you it’s all going to be ok soon or that everything will work out. I’m not a motivational speaker (where do those people get their energy from?!). But what I can tell you is: you’re in a better position to get out of that bind and achieve your goals, if you have a gratitude mindset.
Here’s an exercise to help you develop a gratitude mindset:
Every week, take stock of what’s going well in your life and write them down. Start with the little things and write down why you’re grateful for those things. Also, write down the people you’re grateful for. Could be your parents, your friends, your partner, the friendly neighbor, your dog, a hot cup of coffee, cake, anything!
I know it can be hard. Sometimes it’s easier to complain and wallow in our misfortunes. But practicing gratitude is worth it in the short and long run.
Don’t worry baby, things are going to get better. They always do.
Happy day of being thankful!
Need help with gaining a gratitude mindset? Here are some reading suggestions for you:
Stop comparing yourself with your peers
10 ways to get over your creative rot
Why journaling is the unsung hero of self-care
5 things to include in a letter to your future self
Lifestyle habits to improve your life
This article was first published in an issue of The Quarter-life Crisis Newsletter.
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