“When last did you feel grateful?” was the question put to me by someone I know during one of my rants. I was feeling stressed out and unhappy, so I was telling him about how hard everything is seeming right now. A few days later, I realised the whole thing was just a pms symptom but it’s not like I haven’t felt like that before. Thankfully when he asked me the question, I had in fact felt grateful the day before so I didn’t seem like such a brat. The truth is, other than the day before I couldn’t remember the last time I felt truly grateful.

This question really got me thinking.  So often we get caught up in what we don’t have, what we still need to do, what we still need to get and it all starts to weigh on us. We become overwhelmed and stressed. These feelings sometimes consume us and we get into a very negative state of mind. “Nothing is going right.” “Can this day get any worse?” “My life is in shambles.” These are the things we tell ourselves.

But are our lives really that bad? For most of us, life is pretty good. How often do we feel grateful for the things we have in our lives? Taking the time to reflect on what we have can change a lot. We’d realise how much we actually have. We would gain a greater appreciation for the small things in life, changing our entire mindset in the process. We would become happier, more positive people. This would help to calm us down and the things that usually stress or overwhelm us wouldn’t seem that bad after all.

I’ve been in a kind of funk lately. I just feel like I haven’t accomplished much in my 22 years of life. I have no money.  I’m in the weird in between phase where I’m independent but still dependent. I was just unhappy. I was only thinking about all the things I “need” to make my life better. “If I just had _____, everything will be good”, I would tell myself. I got so consumed by what I thought I needed, by what I didn’t have, I became unhappy. Then I had two good days- I went to Santa Cruz Green Market and the beach. And I was happy. Of course the day after I went on my little rant but like I said, pms, it’s a real thing guys.

But something as simple as two little outings made me happy. Small things can make you so appreciative of all the other things you have. I’ve been making an effort to be grateful for all the things I have in my life and I honestly feel much happier. I feel more at peace and in fact more focused to do what I have to do.

Stop worrying about all the things you still have to do, all the things you still want and just take the time to retreat and reflect on all that you have. True gratitude for what you have gives you a certain peace of mind that better equips you to go about your daily tasks. You’ll be calmer and more centered and with that frame of mind, suddenly your overwhelming load seems more manageable. Your outlook on life will change; you’ll be a more positive person. This newfound positivity will bring its own rewards.

Now, I can see all the cynics rolling their eyes at just the mention of the power of positivity but trust me; having a positive attitude can change a lot. And that positivity starts with gratitude. Don’t be all about the “I want I want I need I need.” The next time you find yourself complaining about life, ask yourself this- “when was the last time you felt grateful?”


“Some people grumble that roses have thorns. I am grateful that thorns have roses”- Alphonse Karr

Posted by Hillary Muddeen