“How do you go about feeling grateful? The process itself is quite simple: (1) Your intention must be to feel grateful—you have to want it. You must understand what’s in it for you, and what’s in it for everyone else; (2) you have to remember that gratitude is part of the very essence of your healthy psychological functioning. It’s your most natural state of mind. Because of this, in the absence of negative thoughts, you are left with a feeling of gratitude. Because gratitude is natural, you have to learn not to feel gratitude; and (3) you have to admit that your negativity is a habit. You are the thinker of your own thoughts and it’s only your thinking that is holding negativism in place. . . .As you dismiss the negative thoughts that interfere with your feeling of happiness you will discover more gratitude surfacing in your life.” Richard Carlson
Gratitude: our “most natural state of mind.” And when we let our negative thoughts, the ones that have us saying, “Poor me!,” then we are ripe for a transformation. It is negativity that interferes with the natural state of gratitude.
Think back to when you felt happy. Or happiest, even. Didn’t a groundswell of gratitude for life itself fill your heart?
This groundswell is what we want to encourage throughout the vicissitudes of living. If we indulge our propensity to think negatively, we will not truly feel gratitude, because of our self-pity. We won’t believe that there is anything much about life to celebrate. These are our lowest states of mind, but these can be turned around.
Let negativity, when it enters your thoughts, just rest lightly on our minds. The intention to let the down thoughts rest lightly will cause an internal shift to take place. Without clinging to the negativity, our natural mental health will surface much more readily. So don’t cling; imagine negativity going in one ear and out the other. Don’t do anything to hold on.
Gratitude from the heart is transforming. And addictive. We will want more of this happy feeling. We will want to thank the Universe, and God Himself, for placing us in our very position on earth. Everything will look different when we determine to raise our thoughts to a higher level.