10 Ways to Find Joy When You Think Life Sucks #7

December 09, 2010 By: celedra Category: Mind Body Spirit

Gratitude or complaining – choose one for joy.

My mother often told us the story about the little boy who felt so sorry for himself because he had no shoes, then meeting up with the little boy who had no feet.  Well, the story worked. It seems to have ingrained within me a sort of automatic response that takes over when feeling sorry for myself or doing much complaining.
The brain is filled with neural pathways that we have some control over.  We can dig a rut as deep as the Grand Canyon with pessimism and complaining which will lead, needless to say, to more of the same.  Even though we are born with temperamental tendencies, we can strengthen the mind the way we strengthen a muscle.

A positive attitude can be cultivated, with a little practice.   Here are some steps:

1.  When you find yourself complaining about a given situation, take a moment to remember 3 things you have to be grateful for that are related to the situation.

2.  Keep a gratitude journal.  Even writing down 2-3 things that you are grateful for daily will change the way you see the world.  It’s a lovely thing to do in the evening before you go to bed.

3.  While it may feel challenging to make ourselves happy, we can always remember to be grateful and, if our hearts are filled with gratitude, chances are we’ll feel a lot more joy.

4.  Do a CCC cleanse – that’s no complaining, criticisms or condemnations.  You can pony up $5.00 to your favorite charity every time you slip.  It’s a great way to break a bad habit that only serves to make life miserable for you.

Below is a song of gratitude by the beloved Thich Nhat Hanh.

In gratitude you have watered

Seed of love in me

In gratitude

In gratitude I will water

Seed of love in someone too

I know you’re there for me

And I am so happy

In gratitude you have watered

Seeds of love in me

In gratitude

In gratitude I will water

Seeds of love in someone too

And when you suffer some

Please call and I will come

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