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When Life Isn’t All Puppies & Rainbows What Are You Thankful For?

What are you thankful for? This question is especially important when you’re down in the dumps. It’s easy to forget the important things in life.

what are you thankful for

We all know that right now the world is in a hectic period. Whether it’s your own personal issues or a global issue, these situations quickly overwhelm us and make us feel like there’s no escape. It’s in these moments we need to remember to ask ourselves, what are you thankful for today, in your life, in the world.

These past couple weeks I’ve been dealing with a breakup, work, family, and I just felt like I was going to explode. I couldn’t take it, I hit the roof of frustration and emotion. So, naturally, I had an emotional breakdown… Well… a three-day emotional breakdown, but never mind me.

What are you thankful for?

I took a long look at my life and realized I have a lot to be grateful for. Sure, I was dumped and my work felt suffocating, but, it’s not that bad. My heart will heal eventually, and there’ll be someone else.

My work? Well, I’m pretty happy I get paid to do what I love. It’s easy to fall into this mindset of, “Oh my life sucks, everything is turning into shit.” But in reality, you have so much more going for you then you think. Before you get all whiny, just think about it for a second.

#1 What is gratitude? People, not all of them, but many, have forgotten about gratitude and the importance of practicing it. So, what is gratitude? It’s the act of being thankful. There are two components of gratitude. First, appreciating and recognizing the value *not monetary* of something. The second is gratis, meaning that it’s given freely to you. [Read: How to fine-tune your internal compass]

#2 Don’t focus on material things. I know you may be thankful for your car which gets you to work and back but try not to focus on material goods. You may love your shoes or your new jacket and that’s not a bad thing, but it’s time look beyond that. Look at what truly makes you happy when you’re not able to get a new pair of shoes or drive to work in your car. [Read: Sabotaging your happiness: 12 ways you can ruin your life]

#3 You choose to be grateful. We may notice when someone does something nice for us, but it doesn’t mean we react or show appreciation. So, we may feel gratitude, but we choose to act on it. Many people only act on big gestures of gratitude. For example, when your parents buy you your first car. However, they don’t show gratitude when your mom makes you soup when you’re sick or when your partner bakes you cookies.

#4 It’s the key to happiness. If you want to be truly happy in your life, you need to practice gratitude. Why? Well, if you do not appreciate what other people do for you, no matter what happens or how much others do for you, you’ll never be happy. You’ll always want more and more even when people cannot give more. [Read: How to make happiness your default state]

#5 Take the time out of your day to think about what you’re thankful for. Like I said, practicing thankfulness is something to practice and be conscious of. You don’t have to spend hours thinking about it, but in the morning while you brush your teeth, think about all the positive attributes of your life.

#6 Your health. You can survive without everything else but your health. Without your health, you’d be nonexistent. Regardless of the money in your bank account, your body, mind, and soul are what keeps you moving in life. This is why you hear people lecture you about eating healthy and exercising. It’s not about looking hot, it’s about appreciating your body—the only one you have.

#7 Your basic necessities to live. You know and I know how many people live without basic necessities such as shelter, water, and food. So, if you have these three necessities in your life, you’re already one step ahead of many people. For you, these three necessities may be obvious, but for many, it’s not.

#8 Your friends and family. Yeah, I know, we don’t get to pick our family. Sometimes, I wish I could. But at the end of the day, they’re the ones that support me through everything I go through. Every time I fall, they pick me up and help me until I walk on my own again. Not everyone has this with their friends or family, so, if you do, it’s something to hold close to you. [Read: 100 overlooked, yet completely awesome things to be thankful for]

#9 Failures. This is one thing that many of us, including myself, don’t want to be thankful for. Who honestly wants to be thankful for failing at something they wanted? No one. In fact, we all do our best not to fail. But that’s the problem. If you don’t fail, you don’t grow.

So those mistakes that you made? You know the ones, those are the best mistakes you made. Why? Because you learned from them and became not only stronger but wiser.

#10 Those small moments. I don’t know what your moments are, maybe it was when your partner looked at you and brushed your hair out of your face or when your baby cousin told you that they love you. These are small moments, and to everyone else, they’re probably insignificant. But for you, they show you the beauty of life and connection. And sometimes, asking yourself the question, what are you thankful for, can help you remember just how lucky and gifted you are.

#11 Education. Many of us don’t even think about elementary school or high school, it’s not something we debate about whether or not we’re going to go. It’s automatic. For other people, going to school is riding on whether their family has enough money to eat this month or not. To be educated is to be given independence and free thought which helps you grow in life.

#12 Music. Most of us turn to music when stressed, excited, energetic. Basically, music is there for any emotional period we walk through. When I don’t have someone to talk to, I turn to music. There’s always a song that relates to how I feel and helps me process my emotions. [Read: 40 fun and upbeat songs to groove you out of that funk]

#13 Life. Life is not supposed to be easy nor is it supposed to be without any obstacles. There are periods where you think your life sucks, I get it. But you’re breathing, moving, thinking, feeling. Life within itself is a movie and you’re the lead role.

[Read: 17 feel-good ways to feel better when life’s a bitch]

Of course, these are just some basics of what to be thankful for. Everyone is different, you may be thankful for your pet or even your neighbors. Point is, if you acknowledge the beauty in your life, the hard times won’t seem so bad. So what are you thankful for?

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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