Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Gratitude Journey From Pessimist to Almost Optimist

It's been a few weeks since I last linked up over at Erika's Grad-itude 101. These past few weeks have been kind of difficult for me for certain reasons, and I'm also doing my own little Life Makeover project that is much needed! However, I am super happy to get back into the gratitude link-up fun!
Gratitude is something I've been exploring for just over a year now. It's been a life changing experience for me and so I want to share how I first started learning about the benefits of gratitude, and how it's helped me.
Last summer while I was working at D3 Artworks Inc., I fell into a pretty bad depression. I had a ton of support from my co-workers, supervisors, friends and family but if you've ever experienced depression you know that sometimes other people just can't help you. I ended up seeing a doctor and got antidepressants which kept me neutral, but I wanted to feel happy, or even just content, not neutral. Sometimes neutral is worse than sadness, it's like you don't feel anything at all. You're just numb.
Finally, I realised that if I wanted to feel happy again I was going to have to do something about it.
So one day after work I went over to the public library and wandered around the self-help section. The first book to really jump out at me was The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I had heard about The Secret before. I knew there was a DVD, and my mom tried to get me to listen to the audio CD a couple of years before, but I had brushed it off. All of a sudden I found myself curious about it.
Reading The Secret helped me to view life a little differently. Mind you, I don't believe that just thinking things will make them exist. I truly believe in working for things and such, but I took what it had said and applied it a little bit differently to my own life. I started thinking that things were possible.
But I needed more than that.
And then one day I came across another book by Rhonda Byrne called The Magic and it was exactly what I needed. This book talks a lot about gratitude! It's the reason I got into writing gratitude lists. It has 28 exercises for you to do in 28 days. Things like; writing gratitude lists, feeling thankful for what you do have, and appreciating the people who are in your life.
For months I carried it everywhere with me, along with a journal and a pen. After I completed the 28 days, I would still flip through it whenever I felt I needed some inspiration, or if I was having a bad day. It was my reminder to feel grateful.
I used to be the most pessimistic person I know. I'm not even kidding!
Now I'm optimistic. Most of the time.
But I can honestly say that I'm happy more often than sad, or angry, or upset in any way.
Do you practice gratitude? How did you get into practicing gratitude? Is it something new, or have you been doing it for a long time?

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  1. I totally feel you! Sometimes not feeling anything at all really is worse. I found that a lot of times out of habit.. I'd still say I think I'm unhappy out loud but internally wonder why I felt so numb. Maybe I will have to check out that book. I'm already starting to get back into writing in my gratitude journal more.

    1. It's difficult when you're feeling that way. A lot of people don't really understand it. I felt very alone in my depression, because not many people I knew could relate.

      The Magic was a great book for me at that time. The exercises in the book forced me to think about gratitude even when I didn't think I could. Writing in a gratitude journal is a great habit!

  2. Hey Cole! I read this a few days ago but I've been meaning to comment!

    First of all, thank you for participating in GRAD-ITUDE 101 again! :) I was really happy to see your post in the linkup!

    And next, I think it's awesome to share resources that help us to better practice gratitude and get into that positive mindset. Now that you've mentioned the gratitude book with the lists, I may have to add that to my Amazon cart! Anything to help us creative the habit of gratitude is great in my book! WOOHOO! :)


    1. Thanks for commenting! I've been wanting to participate more, but I keep forgetting. Still trying to balance everything in my life now that there have been so many changes.

      It was a great book for me at the time. If you're into gratitude and are like me, needing a structured sort of plan, then it's a great book to get!


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