You've probably heard about gratitude journals, appreciation letters, and messages of positivity, but what does gratitude mean for a regular person? Why is it essential for self-care too?
I've read a thousand times that we should keep a gratitude journal, have a positive mind, appreciate ourselves and others too, but, in practical terms what does gratitude mean?
I truly believe I've come a long way when it comes to self-care, I think the pandemic forced me to look inside myself and start dealing with issues that I'd hidden for ages. Fortunately, my life has gone back to a more normal routine, the main change being my work became 100% remote. Although I have to admit is super confrontable, it can get lonely sometimes.
What gratitude means for a regular person like me
In my journey to mental health, I finally understood what gratitude meant for me.
The first thought that crossed my mind when I woke up during the pandemic was:
Why is this happening to me?"
But the real question should have been:
What is this that is happening to me?"
Only when I acknowledged my feelings and understood why I was so angry at the world, did I start to see that I was much luckier than I thought I was.
I was upset because my routine had changed completely, I used to love going to the office every day, meeting new people, and going out after work. And it is OK to feel sad or angry sometimes, but after I was done feeling irritated, I started actually doing what it took to improve my mood.
Instead of wallowing in my own misery, I started writing more often, painting and drawing more often, I took several courses I had always wanted to take but had no time to study and little by little I started having better days, waking up and feeling thankful that I had friends to call to share my life, that I had I job I liked and I also had the opportunity to study whatever I liked—and I discovered that is what life is about for me.
Life is about being grateful for the experiences you are able to collect, success is being surrounded by people that you really care for, and that was all I needed to live a happier life.
We expect too much, life is just appreciating our experiences and that is what practicing gratitude means for a regular person like me.