Have you ever met someone that is happy? I mean someone who is happy ALL THE TIME! I have, they are real people. They have a smile on their face all the time and are genuinely pleased to talk to just about anyone.
Your first thought may be that people like this have the perfect life. Or you may think that nothing bad has or does ever happen to them. Well, you would be wrong. Happy people live a normal life that is not perfect and bad things both have and do happen to them. The difference is they choose to handle life differently.
Happy people make the choice to be happy and positive, looking for the good in all circumstances. They are not only happy, they are grateful, joyful and positive individuals. This type attitude comes naturally to some people, while others have learned to be this behavior and attitude. Being a happy, joyful and positive person can be learned by anyone.
You may say I can’t have a happy or grateful attitude, I have had too many bad things have happened to me. Or you may think it is impossible to by joyful because you are in the middle of a terrible situation. The good news is you can be happy even with circumstances such as these. It is a choice you make.
It's Your Choice
Learning to be grateful in all circumstances takes practice. Looking for the positive of every situation is an important part of being happy. You can fake being cheerful; after a while of constant faking (a.k.a. practicing) it will be easier and a part of your daily life. Smiles are contagious. Next time you’re out, smile at everyone you come across and see how many smile back.
My husband has chronic migraines. To be precise, he has had one migraine for the past 5 years. It never goes away. This kind of pain is miserable. Chronic pain and chronic illness are the perfect breeding ground for negativity. It is so easy to focus on the bad, the pain and the hopelessness of the situation. Negativity infects and spreads easily. It would be so simple for my husband, children and myself to concentrate only on the negative and be pessimistic about life. To never be happy or grateful or positive.
We have made a conscious decision to be positive. Together we look for positive aspects in life. For example, there are people we have met, because of his illness, that are great people who have impacted our lives. We do not take health for granted and make the most of the low pain days as we can.
Each night at the dinner table we all take turns naming someone we are thankful for, something we are grateful for, something good that happened that day, a favorite place or event we have experienced. By looking for things to be grateful for and verbalizing them on a daily basis, we are all growing our appreciation. My husband and I are modeling gratitude to our children, which is important for them to learn to find joy in all situations.
Other ways to grow your gratitude are to keep a gratitude journal, perform random acts of kindness regularly, thank others often and give sincere compliments frequently. Tell people you are close to how much you appreciate them. A gratitude journal can help you recall good and positive things daily. Write down happy moments, good things, people you are grateful for and things you are thankful for. Regularly reviewing what you’ve written keeps those positive things fresh on your mind. They can help to push negativity away by focusing on the good things.
Remember to smile as often as you can, always looking for the good in everything and everyone. People who are grateful, thankful and have a positive attitude are happy people. Want to be happy? Practice growing your gratitude.
Do you practice gratitude? IF so how do you practice?
Lisa Curbow is a Registered Dental Hygienist. In her spare time, she volunteers with her sons Boy Scout Troop and is working on her Master’s degree. She is a lifestyle blogger with a focus on chronic illness and gratitude. She is an advocate for her husband who suffers from a chronic illness that causes chronic pain. You can read more of her work on her blog, http://dadhasaheadache.com