I abandoned my blog for a bit. I went away on vacation for 10 days and then I had a very intense weekend of yoga teacher training. But I am back now.
With Thanksgiving coming up this week and the idea of gratefulness that surrounds it, I have been thinking about the idea of 1 in 100. There are 100 people in a room, 99 of those people like you and 1 person does not like you, who do you focus on? The one, right?
We tend to focus on the one person who does not like us. We tend to focus on the one thing that is going wrong in our lives. Simply, we tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. I believe it is because people have no idea what to do with the emotion of joy. It is easy to be angry, upset, and negative. It is much harder to turn our attention to the positive things even when there are many positives in our lives.
It is a practice, a very hard one, to focus on the 99 instead of the 1. But it is a practice that is worthwhile. When we focus on the positive instead of the negative, we can begin to realize life is much better than we thought it was. There are always going to be struggles and there are always going to be people who do not like you. But when we focus on all the good things, when we focus on the 99 other things or other people, we are practicing gratitude.
Practicing gratitude is recognizing the things we are grateful for. It is something Thanksgiving is centered-around. But being thankful or grateful does need to be limited to one holiday season. There are studies that show the many positive effects of practicing gratitude daily. Practicing gratitude improves mental well-being and it can even improve your physical health by reducing the time you spend swimming in negative emotions. Practicing gratitude really can change your life for the better.
I often hear an “attitude of gratitude” and I do not agree with that. Gratitude is a practice. Practicing gratitude requires taking time to list, write, think, tell what we are grateful for. It requires labeling and naming concrete things in our lives. I keep a gratitude log and every night before bed I write down three things I am grateful for that day. It helps, especially on a shitty day.
There is always more good than there is bad. The bad is always a small number. The bad is always 1 and the good is always 99. But it can change depending on how you look at the world. In the world we are living in, it is easy to think the bad events and emotions are the majority but it is not true. It requires work to know that there is more good than bad. You have to look for the good. You have to walk around and point it out and then recognizing you are grateful for it.
It is easy to live in anger, hate, and negative emotions. It is hard work to look for the good in the world and in people. But it is beneficial work for us humans. It helps us become healthier, happier, and more grateful people, and isn’t that what we all want?