Ever heard the saying that you can’t control what happens to you but you can control the way you respond to it?

That is a very real thing.

Let me tell you that I regularly suffer with negative thoughts. I am always thinking “why me” or “what next”. I get stuck in these negative mental loops and before I know it, it feels like the world is against me and I physically start to feel like crap.

Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life. 

 Tony Robbins

Something that I’ve started practicing is “Gratitude.” Turns out it takes a good deal of practice. Life is hard and it’s full of bullshit. However if you are waiting for something bad to happen, it will.

The idea here is to take a brief moment every day to just sit, breathe and try to think about things you are thankful for. You can spend just 5 minutes doing this and you’ll be well on your way to some serious self awareness and peace.

Don’t let the world “happen to you” be forward thinking and feeling so that you can shape the way you see and respond to things in your life with a positive spin.

Recent research performed in 2015 showed that patients with heart failure, who completed gratitude journals showed reduced inflammation, improved sleep and better moods thus dramatically reducing their symptoms heart failure after only 8 weeks. — https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/gratitude-appreciation/

There is a story in the book Hagakure, by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, about a Samurai Warrior who, before going to sleep each night, meditated and visualized that all his belongings, friends and family were all completely consumed in a huge fire. He did this so that when he woke up the next morning he would see things with a grateful light. He would then go through his day just being happy that he had all of his loved ones and belongings returned to him.

Obviously this is an extreme example of practicing gratitude, but this story helps me think of other ways that I can cultivate gratitude in my life and try to live with a thankful mentality.

What are some things you are grateful for in your daily life?