You don’t believe in it anymore.
At least, not at the moment.
You know, when they say you have to appreciate life to feel happy. And you tried. You really did.
But come on, you need to have a reason to feel thankful.
That you don’t have now.
Right now, you can’t even think of anything to lift your mood up. You feel your life is messed up.
How often do you feel that way?
Maybe it’s when you just got fired from your job, or your boss didn’t give credit for the hard work you do. Or maybe it’s when you just had a big fight with your partner and you felt like you guys had nothing in common. Or when everything you touched would turn into broken pieces, you spilled your coffee to the precious tablecloth, you forgot to save an important file before the power’s off.
It seems that bad things happen in a row and once they start, they will not stop.
And you are right. They will not stop until either you break everything you have in your life or you are not in a bad mood anymore.
Apparently, your best choice is to stop being in a bad mood, as quick as possible before you either hurt yourself or someone else.
Here are 5 incredibly simple steps to feel thankful, they work even when you think your life is down the toilet.
This is the crucial first step. No matter what you are doing or how urgent it is or how bad you screw up, it can wait for couple minutes.
When life goes down south, we often freak out and do lots of things without careful consideration in the effort of trying to fix things up. Unsurprisingly, the harder you try to fix it, the worse the situation becomes.
Stop whatever you’re doing, sit back and take several long, deep breaths.
This will help you to prevent or push away the panic attack that is rising. What’s more, it stretches your lung, pumps oxygen to your brain and allows you to calm down and relax.
Unless you are on fire literally, ignore your current situation. If you keep focusing on the terrible reality you are facing, you will not be able to find any gratitude.
But if you stop dwelling on the thought of how messy your life is, the connection between your thought and your feeling breaks, making it more difficult for you to remember why it bothers you so much in the first place.
So no matter what you are doing, the best thing to do is to take a step back, ignore your current situation and find gratitude somewhere else.
Make a list of the things you are grateful for and write down the reason why. This will not only shift your focus from negativity to positivity but also deepen the positive emotions to your brain.
So what is it exactly you are feeling in your current situation?
You are mad, angry, confused or all of that?
But really, your current situation, whatever it is, cannot bring you that many feelings. It can give you one or two, and that’s it.
However, your feelings and memories, especially negative ones, are like all the dominoes in a chain. Once you drop one, all will fall. You mess up one time, all the bad memories return to convince you that your life is done. One feeling triggers another until all of them collapse. And you are left feeling broken and vulnerable.
How do you make it stop?
The answer is simpler than you think.
Write down how you feel because of your CURRENT situation. That’s it. No more.
If you just got fired from your job, write down what you truly feel.
“I’m worried I cannot provide my family.”
“I’m scared I would lose my house.”
Acknowledge your true feelings. And be grateful that you are still able to feel them. Because a lot of people can’t.
Imagine when things are going your way. “Life is great!”.
But what if when everything is going your way all the time? What will you feel?
Remember when you are a kid and you didn’t know how to brush your teeth? At that time, brushing your teeth was a challenge and you felt wonderful the first time you did it all by yourself.
Now you brush your teeth every single day. Do you still feel the victory and the excitement of a conqueror?
Of course not.
So instead of screaming to the world how messed up and difficult your life is, be thankful for it.
You know why? Because you will be much stronger after it.
They are your tests after all. You can make it through, you have what it takes. And that’s how you transform your life, to turn from a caterpillar to a butterfly.
If you are still struggling to feel thankful, look around you, do some research and learn what other people have to deal with.
You might don’t know this. But…
Some people’s lives are in danger. They have to recklessly get out of their house to do things, with a constant fear that a bullet might accidentally shot through their head anytime.
Some people are starving. They can eat anything they find, but there is nothing left around them.
Some people are dying from some sickness or diseases. They know they are dying but there is nothing they can do about it.
Some people’s fanciest dream is to have enough money so none of their children is hungry.
Some people’s biggest wish is to have something on top of their heads, so their family will not get when under the rain.
Now, do you still think being fired from your job, having a big fight with your partner or losing an important data is a disaster?
You see. It’s already a miracle for how well things have been working out for us, how we are still breathing and how we can work to pursue our dreams.
That miracle doesn’t work for everyone. But it already works for us.
Life happens. Again. Some bad things just happened, and they are out of your control.
This time, you are going to take a short break, go for a walk while breathing deeply.
You feel so much better after 5 minutes walking. And you think about your life, 5 minutes ago.
You feel so silly. Why does it even bother you in the first place? It’s nothing compared to how wonderful your life is. You are so grateful for everything. You are living. You are breathing.
You know this feeling will vanish soon. But thank God, you can still have feelings. And that’s lovely.
And you know your chance is right there at the corner.
Your life is not done. It’s not down the toilet. It just has ups and downs, which you are so indeed grateful for.
“Thank you, life, for testing me. And I thank you, myself, to give me enough strength to overcome all the obstacles come in my way. Thank you”.
The original article can be found here.