Psychology & Musings, Psychology & Wellbeing

The Importance of Gratitude

My husband sent me an article today; “The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People”. He often sends articles my way usually things of a psychological nature that he spots when reading the news and because of my love of all things related to the human psyche. I always read, and usually ruminate on, them for a few minutes wondering how the brain fodder applies to me or people close to me. I then promptly forget the articles and move on with my day rarely applying any of their suggestions for a better, happier, stronger, and more accomplished self. As a psychologist, you’d think I’d be better at taking psychological advice! I’ve learned it’s often those who think they least need advice that could benefit from it most…

Today’s article was written differently. It flipped the coin on the usual approach to inadequate ways of thinking and played ‘reverse psychology’ with me so to speak. As I read the titles of each of the 14 habits I winced realizing how many of them apply to how I’m currently approaching life.

Let me backtrack. I’m the mum of an 8-month-old. We live abroad away from our family and many friends. We’re yet to use any form of childcare so our couple time is very rare: a couple of hours here and there when the baby sleeps or when we have visitors and we feel comfortable to escape for an hour or two. We’re yet to have a night out together or a night off from the baby. I’m sure this arrangement is true for many couples and I’m sure many have it worse, but it’s becoming a challenge. Apart from this small issue – for which we have a solution with nanny care from September – life is, well, fantastic! We live in a beautiful home in a stunning part of New England. We both have our health, and a beautiful, healthy baby boy. In short, there’s very little to be miserable about.

Fast forward to now and for some reason, I’ve fallen into the habit of telling myself I’m miserable. I’m not miserable! Actually, I’m far from miserable. My life is really pretty amazing! So, what gives?

I forgot to be grateful.

When I’ve written this blog in the past it’s given me something through which to explore my thoughts and feelings and to look for solutions to things that worry me. The accountability of knowing people will read my words encourages me to be truthful yet look for the positives in life’s challenges. It gives me a channel for gratitude. I haven’t written lately due to worrying what others will think of my words. I realize now I need to write because my blog helps me to appreciate life.

Today, the sun is shining, and my son is currently napping giving me the opportunity to write. Yes, we have food shopping to do, but hey, everyone has chores to do and errands to run. In short, life is good and today I’m counting my blessings –  something we should all stop to do once in a while.

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