I think we all have days when our lives seem awful. We all have days when our lives seem great. And we all have days when our lives feel like a routine.
In today’s society, where we think we can control everything, we want to feel great all the time. Social media show us the happy pics of people living a great life, screaming at us: ‘look, I’m at the airport travelling to some far away, amazing destination’, ‘look at me, I’m having dinner at this 3-star restaurant’, ‘look at my amazing group of fancy friends’. When you feel a bit down, browsing your social media is the worst thing to do. You’ll only feel worse afterwards (at least, I do on those days).
The thing is, life isn’t great all the time. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s awful. Sometimes it’s dull. Sometimes it’s a routine. But the most important things to realise, is that we are alive. We live in a free country. We have no war here. We have a roof over our heads. We have food on the table. We wake up every morning. We can call friends or family because we have phones and internet connections.
We’ve got so much to be grateful for. But the human brain is wired to focus on that one thing that isn’t right in our life. That feature proved to be useful in our Neanderthal days with predators lurking everywhere, as our brain wanted to keep us alive. But let’s face it, we don’t need that feature as much anymore, because we’re relatively safe these days.
Therefore, it’s important to train our brains to focus on what’s great in our life. We can’t unlearn our old patterns, but we can focus on learning new habits. That’s a magic feature of our brain as well! We are truly amazing creatures.
Let’s practice that attitude of gratitude, because it will reframe your mindset towards a happy life. Some time ago, to be honest, I forgot about this habit for a while and I felt my mood dropping, feeling unhappy, snapping at my loved ones and seeing only the negative in everything that happened. My reptilian brain had taken over completely.
So how did I break that pattern? By taking 10 minutes each day to write down what I’m grateful for. I do it after I wake up, but it’s just as effective if you’re doing it just before going to bed. Commit to doing this for at least 7 days straight and you will experience a kind of lightness in your heart and mind. And you will be able to find happiness, even in the moments of routine, sickness or awful events.