Is it a situation that is challenging and stressful or is that just our perspective? When a situation arises in life that we deem ‘difficult or challenging,’ is it possible to modify that perspective to one that is more positive?
As I sit here gaze at the beauty in the skies, the greenery of the trees and the blossoming flowers that parade their beauty, I ponder upon the challenges that life presents us with and cannot help but be grateful. I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds me, the ambience that it creates and for the challenges that provide an opportunity to grow and evolve as an individual.
Gratitude is the one mind-set that for me has had a humongous impact on my perspectives in life. This has helped me though some of the most challenging situations that life has presented. I always start the day with gratitude – my first thought is that of gratitude; for a perfect night’s sleep, a comfortable bed and roof over my head. I adopted this practise many years ago and have continued it since.
Starting the day with gratitude led me to feel positive and happy. I then began to feel grateful more often in the day – for other aspects of my life; from my job and the income it brought in to the love my cat Stormy would show. With time, this practise of gratitude would almost feel like a ray of contentment radiating from the heart – the effect of gratitude is profound; it is life changing.
Scientific research reinforces the fact that our brain changes according to our thought pattern – neurons fire to form connections that become strengthened with repetition. This is how a behaviour or thought pattern becomes automated. We remain in a state of unhappiness, stress and worry because these thought patterns become ‘hard wired’ and thus, automatic. Break this negative thought pattern and shift this thinking by focusing on gratitude – and make it a daily habit! By doing so, the brain learns to remain in a state of happiness through strengthening those neural pathways in the brain that are reinforced through repetition.
To remain in a constant state of gratitude creates a barrier of positive protection from the forces of the overthinking negative mind. Through this attitude, I feel the chaos of the mind beginning to rewire itself to peace. For me, these thoughts have developed a feeling of ‘love’ in my heart. The attitude of gratitude allows me to feel connected to my Lord – I feel the light within me connecting to the light of my Creator.
The words ‘Thank you’ – although the initial step, just don’t seem to be enough. Gratitude has to be thought by the mind, uttered by the tongue, demonstrated in every action and felt from the heart; like a beam of light radiating from within. Take a step back and allow gratitude to create a sense of contentment, which will transform your mind, body and soul, filling it with love for the Divine. Through this meditative state, I feel my Lord in my heart – love filled to the brim, overflowing as tears through my eyes– giving me the inner strength to accept what is and face any challenges in a more positive way.
When you feel your mind is ‘overthinking’ or you seem to be focusing more so on negative situations, then take a moment and shift your thinking to something that is good in your life. Appreciate and be grateful for this, for when you do, you will realise, that there isn’t enough time in the day to be grateful for everything you have.