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  • Writer's pictureJess D

Gratitude: Go Get You Some!

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Sometimes when life gets you down, it's easy to forget all the good things that happen. Here are some ways I work on gratitude every day

What are you grateful for?

Life got you down?

Have you ever caught yourself saying “Mannn my life sucks!” or “My life would be so much better if I had A, B, or C object.” Many of us get into this mindset of wanting more when we’re perfectly good where we’re at. It also doesn’t help when you look on Facebook or Instagram and see how “Awesome” everyone else’s life is.

I constantly catch myself in this constant loop of not being grateful what I have. This past week I’ve felt so down about my life in Shanghai. I felt that although I worked hard and have two degrees, my job isn’t as good as it should be and I’m not making as much as I should be making. Sitting in my apartment and looking around, I thought “I should have a bigger place.” I would take the same metro, going to the same places and think “I deserve to be a better city.” Of course, like every other millennial, I browse my Instagram feed and see all my friends getting married, having kids, or ranking up to a higher belt in jiu-jitsu and think to myself. “Why not me?”

Who else has seen this kind of image on Insta or Facebook and wanted to gag? (Image by Git Stephen Gitau)

What should I be grateful for?

As these things entered my mind, I failed to think about the things happening around me simultaneously: An old man digging bottles out of a garbage can, maybe to exchange them for money to eat that day. People sleeping on the streets looking for a small awning or cover, so the rain doesn’t drip on them. A beggar who is amputated at the knee asking me in Chinese for food to eat or some change I can spare. Talking to a friend who only has 30 days on a visa in order to stay in the country.

When I look back on these things, all I can think is “Wow, you’re an ungrateful S.O.B.!”

First thing first: I’m lucky to be alive. Not in a “Yea I’m from the streets and N words are dying every day!” But in a there are so many people that have not gotten a chance to live and every day I wake up is a day that I can work towards the things I want in life. It’s easy to forget these things when so many people are living so many magical lives in a way that you’d like to live yours. What we often fail to realize is that most pictures go through a selection process, Photoshop, and then filters. Plus, you never see the “behind the scenes” in certain situations. That beautiful couple you find when search #couplegoals might be quarrelling non-stop.

image from pexels

This lack of gratitude seems to be permeating through the Shanghai air: I expressed my feelings to a friend about how I wanted to leave Shanghai. In response to my stories and my unhappiness, she told me that I wasn’t being appreciative. She understood where I was coming from and mentioned that I need to think about what is going good now. Also, she mentioned the anxiousness I’m feeling is being too focused about what my future is going to be like, what my past was, and NOT focusing on what is going in the moment as I’m living it.

When we aren’t appreciative of what we have right in the moment, it blocks your future blessings. If you’re constantly thinking about what you don’t have, the universe, God, higher power, or whatever blocks anything that’s meant for you because you don’t appreciate what’s in your life currently. If you appreciate what’s in your life now, then the higher power gives you an “upgrade”.

This also something I’m learning to deal with and I’m working every day to be more grateful. When I catch myself being down or not being grateful about the things I already have, I write a list of three things I’m grateful for in that specific day.

How can I practice gratitude in my daily life?

If you’re feeling like you’re lacking an attitude of gratitude, here are 5 easy things you can do right now to practice gratitude.

1) Write down three things your grateful for that day

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2) Tell someone in your life that you appreciate them

3) Meditate on something good that happened to you during the day

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4) Live in the now! Be mindful about what is going in your life currently and don’t overthink about the past and the future

5) Focus on yourself and the good things about YOU. Don’t worry about what other people are doing.

Are you conciously practicing gratitude? What are some things you can do to express more gratitude in your day?

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