Positively No Negativity Challenge
Day 71 of 84
Have you noticed that at the end of each post I list five things to be thankful for? This was a part of my Positively No Negativity Challenge, but I didn’t mention it before now. I did it because I wanted to see if an attitude of Gratitude would boost my positivity.
Robert Eammons is one of today’s authorities on gratitude. He outlines four benefits of gratitude:
– it allows us to celebrate the present: when we appreciate the value of something we notice the positives. The thing we are appreciating increases in value because we are grateful for it. If I am grateful for a fridge full of food, I will put that food together into a beautiful meal.
– Gratitude blocks negative emotions like depression, envy, resentment and regret; these can block our happiness. You can’t be grateful and resentful at the same time. Try it!
– Grateful people are less prone to stress. In the face of life emotions, like suffering, grief and anxiety, gratefulness can give a better perspective on your situation.
– It gives a sense of self worth in that you notice that there are people looking out for you. You can recognize the contributions they have made in your life. If you actually call those people up or write a note to acknowledge and thank them, you both benefit.
I have noticed that the happiest and most positive people are the ones who are grateful. When they are healthy, they are grateful for their health; when they are not healthy they are grateful to be alive. Grateful people realize that they are not self-made, but that other people have contributed to and influenced who they are today.
Back in 2005 when I was going through the dark days of my divorce, often those days were filled with self-pity and a ‘woe is me’ attitude. And then I would meet someone who was worse off than me. One day I was telling someone about my sad tale of woe, and she told me about her mom who also went through a divorce while going through chemo treatments for breast cancer.
This type of thing happened to me time and again. It was as if God was telling me that things could have been much worse and to be thankful for what I had. It was difficult to be thankful but I tried.
I begrudgingly started to think about what was going right in my life rather than what was hurting my children and me. And when I took the time to show gratefulness to the people who helped me move house, the friends who called me relentlessly to check up on me and even the strangers who showed kindness, it lifted my spirits. It gave me cause to smile and to realize that I wasn’t alone in this world and that I would be OK.
Are there people who have benefited your life? Was there someone who was there for you during a difficult time? Did someone help you out financially? How about someone who pointed out something you were doing wrong and their words made you realize and correct your error?
When you start to think about it, no one is self-made. There are people in all of our lives who helped us along the way. Maybe it’s time to thank them.
Today I am thankful:
1. For my parents who have been such a great example, supporting, guiding, accepting.
2. For my brother and sisters who have stood by me forever, believing in me and offering support
3. For a dear friend who helped me move house a few years ago, and then gave me money to get Christmas gifts for my children.
4. For my neighbour who always greets me with a smile and who helped me out with my car purchase
5. For Nancie Ferron, who gave me a job at La Maison Lavande, and that launched my love of lavender. (I now have 70 lavender plants in my front yard!)