“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” -Marcel Proust
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” -Epicurus
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” -Alphonse Karr
We all know some people in our lives that aren’t really the “glass half-full” type of people. We don’t always have the choice to avoid them or remove them from our lives. So how do we handle them? Especially here at Thanksgiving, when the whole idea is to be grateful, thankful, and positive? Or what if you are fighting negativity yourself? How can you learn to be more grateful/positive?
Are you the negative person? Is it affecting your relationships?
If you are concerned that you might have a negative personality, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- Are you quick to say “no” and rarely say “yes?”
- Are you a perfectionist?
- Do you like when people say “good morning” or “good night?” Or do you find yourself wondering what is so “good” about it?
- Do you dwell on bad or painful memories?
- Is it hard for you to let things go?
- Are you highly critical?
- Do you find yourself in a bad mood most of the time?
I hate to break it to you, but if you said yes to most of the above questions then you could be harming your relationships with your negativity.
Here are some things you can do to be more positive:
- Get enough sleep.
- Be more accepting and be willing to forgive yourself and others.
- Do things that make you smile.
- Be more mindful of your thoughts and why you think the way you do.
- Search out positive people to be around.
- Do something good for others.
But here is the thing, I can list ways to be a more positive/grateful person all day long and it won’t matter if you don’t want to change. It won’t matter if you don’t understand the importance of being grateful and being more positive.
Why is being grateful so important?
Gratitude can strengthen and enhance your faith. Gratitude is the heart of the Christian life. Psalm 136:1 says, “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever.” Being grateful sufficiently shows that we have been paying close attention to God, Jesus, and all the gifts we have received from them in our lives.
Don Postema writes, “Gratitude takes nothing for granted. It acknowledges each favor, each gift—both big and small. It also recognizes the giver—the relative who shows her love by giving you a gift; the friend who remembers to call you; the person who gives you a compliment or goes out of his way to invite you to go for a walk on a beautiful day; the spouse or friend who brings you a cup of coffee when you’re exhausted, cooks you a fine dinner, or throws a party for you.”
Gratitude and being truly thankful can lead to so much goodness. Having a grateful heart and mind can cause you to want to seek out opportunities to show others just how grateful you are, which can lead to you doing great things to help our society and your peers. I also believe that it has the potential to cause a domino effect. If you do good for someone, that person is likely to do good for someone else…pay it forward. <3
Gratitude can give you peace of mind and lead to being humble. Create a platform of gratitude that you can use to build a happy, successful life on. You need a strong foundation.
Gratitude can quiet your fears, improve your quality of life, and just make you feel better. Gratitude helps to strengthen your focus. Whatever we think is what we tend to gravitate towards. So if we are negative, we tend to gravitate to the negative. However, if we beam with positivity and gratitude we will gravitate towards some great things in our lives.
If you aren’t a negative person, how do you deal with being around negative people?
First of all, do not take the negativity personally. This is a hard one. I know, I speak from experience. Remember you can only control how you react, not what they say or do. Take responsibility ONLY for your actions. Too often we blame others for making us unhappy or angry and that is just not how it should work.
Remember to breathe. Breathing can help you stay focused in the moment and help you react more logically, instead of emotionally. Breathing can also help you slow down your own thought process and help you react in a better way to ground the situation and not let it ruin your day.
Don’t get sucked in. Change your thoughts. If you are doing something different, that will change the dynamic. This person will have to adjust in some ways to meet or stay up with the new you. Allow others to see how your life has changed since you decided to choose gratitude and joy, over negativity and misery.
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” -Maya Angelou