Feeling Sorry For Myself
For the last month I have had chronic back pain. Not so bad that it is debilitating, but bad enough that I was having trouble sleeping and would wake up groggy and irritable. I found myself feeling grumpy and complaining a lot. I kept thinking why can’t I just feel good for a while?!
Why is it so easy for us to see all the negative in life? That seems to be our default – to find what is wrong with our selves, our spouse, our job, our lives… It’s even easier to fall into a negative loop when you’re dealing with the extra stress of your husband’s cancer.
Forgetting My Pain
As I was driving to a meeting, feeling exhausted, achy and generally sorry for myself, I looked around and noticed the gorgeous trees in full spring bloom. How beautiful they looked! I noticed that everything looked lush and had turned an intense green from all the winter rain. I felt gratitude and true appreciation for the beautiful place that I live in! As I sat there noticing the beauty around me I forgot my aching back for a few moments. My mood lifted and I felt lighter than I had for a while.
The Power of Gratitude
Gratitude has an amazing ability to lift us out of self pity and negativity. It can even lessen our pain because it directs our focus away from it. Gratitude, just like every emotion, is generated by the thoughts we think. Which means that it is available to you to feel at any time! How wonderful is that?
So why don’t we feel gratitude more often? The answer is simply because it takes work. Our brains naturally tend to notice the negative and bad – that is how we are kept out of danger. It is the default setting for most of us. Gratitude however takes some effort. But the pay off is huge! I had been focusing on my own discomfort and the minute I focused on the beauty around me, I felt better!
What Can You Be Grateful For?
No matter how down or dark you may feel, you can always find something to appreciate and be grateful for. I challenge you to find it, even if its just once each day for a few minutes. Find it and feel it. You will feel so much better if you do!