Gratitude: Negativity’s Natural Enemy
Gratitude. Is there any greater gift that we can give ourselves and others than gratitude? Gratitude costs us nothing and gives us so much back in return. Every action in life takes energy. And usually, when we spend our energy, we feel it. We feel a bit expended after certain activities, tired and less willing to spend more of our energy on other things. Isn’t it amazing how when we spend our energy focusing on our gratitude, that not only do we not feel expended, we feel energized and more powerful?
Gratitude is real-life magic. It instantly changes our mindsets and refocuses our attention onto what is truly important in our lives.
Unfortunately though, gratitude can’t stop tragedy or hurt from happening to us in the first place. Pain is just as much a part of our lives as happiness. The good news is that, while it can’t prevent negativity, gratitude can always put it in perspective.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said, “Whatever we put our attention on will grow stronger in our life.”
Deepak Chopra said, “Whatever we focus our attention on will expand in our experience.”
No matter how it’s said or who says it, the heart of the message is clear: What we choose to focus on will continue to manifest in our lives.
If this is true, then why do so many of us choose to focus on the negative in our lives? None of us have the intention to create more negativity, but when it does come into our lives, what do we do? It would be near impossible not to give it any attention at all. In order for us to deal with our issues in a healthy way, we have to acknowledge them, try our best to learn from them, and if all goes well, eventually, let the negativity go.
In that middle stage, when we’re really “knee-deep in it,” it can be difficult not to focus on the negativity. Noticing your thought patterns and redirecting them towards a focus on gratitude can actually help immensely in these times.
There are many ways to move into your gratitude. Be as creative as you’d like. Take a moment the next time you’re in the shower to appreciate that you live in a place and time where indoor plumbing exists. Take a look around the room and express gratitude for the first thing you see. What joy does it bring you? No matter what negativity there is in the world, there’s always a reason to be grateful. After all, puppies and kittens exist, right?
Gratitude can help all of us as individuals, but it can also help groups of people. As employees, managers, owners, etc., there is also opportunity for us to fall into negativity as well, whether it be that exaggerated Yelp review or an unexpected contract that fell through. The same can be said for your business. Redirect your way of thinking into an attitude of gratitude, gratitude for those co-workers who fully support you and your practice in its goals.
There are many ways that you can share your gratitude with those you share a workspace with. Maybe one of the most powerful ways to support others is to show them that you care for their future as well. Show them that their thoughts, opinions, and goals are important to you. After all, your “People are the real bottom line."
No matter how you do it, you can start the cycle of gratitude and feel the positive benefits today!
Melissa Schoenecker is a freelance writer and co-creator of the universe based in Venice, California. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and a Master's Degree from the University of Santa Monica. She contributes to a number of blogs and online postings, but her best work can be found in her gratitude journal.