Mental Toughness: How to practice gratitude

Few view gratitude as a skill, or a habit - but it is both.

There was a day, not too long ago, where everything seemed to go wrong all at once, and I was caught up in this fever of negative momentum.

Swearing and cursing and fumbling, and ultimately causing more delays because of my state, I suddenly stopped, and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

I realized that the only possible reason I could be having this reality, was because I was attracting it.  And the only reason I chose to believe that I would attract such a reality, was because of the alternative.  If I hadn't had that crappy day, and if I'd made it home on time, perhaps I would have been hit by a car or some other extreme negativity would have happened which would have put all this day's adversities into dramatic perspective.

This simple thought, correct or otherwise, changed my state, and allowed me to perform properly, effortlessly, and joyously once more.

Gratitude is not just something you feel when someone gives you your birthday presant.  It is a state of being in which you love life, and are grateful for every part of it.  Every lesson, every challenge, every joy.

An excellent exercise I enjoy, is going for a light jog or walk, and simply smiling and being grateful for all the wonderful things in my life.  I mentally list them off, and sometimes out loud say things like "I love my life" and "I am so rich" as I jog.  I find 4 syllables work really well for running mantras.

Ultimately, you can be thankful that you can see or hear the world, regardless of the state it is in.  You can be thankful you have feet or hands that you're using to move in the first place.  You can be thankful for the time you've been born into, filled with limitless opportunity.

Heck, you can be grateful (or, as sometimes I enjoy spelling it: Great-full) for indoor plumbing if you really think about it.

Try thinking about something you're the most grateful about, in fact, think of 10 somethings, write them down, and every morning look at the list and even read it out loud with a sense of joy.  After about 10 days, you'll see some pretty neat results.

Recommended Reading: Go get 'em, electron boy

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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