We all want the very best for ourselves – unfortunately, in this day and age feeling unsatisfied with what we have has become second nature. We have endless people to compare ourselves to on social media and television – we see the luxurious lives that others are living on Instagram or Facebook and we might feel jealous or self-pitying. We see how happy others are in their relationships; the fun vacations that other people seem to be incessantly taking while we have to work and clean and take care of all of our personal responsibilities. It is important to remember that social media acts as a “highlight reel” for other people’s lives – people rarely expose or speak about the struggles they face on a day-to-day basis. It is also important to remember that these feelings can all be successfully combated with a little bit of authentic gratitude.
An article published by Psychology Today and titled, “The Grateful Brain” explores the connection between gratitude and overall well-being. The author of this article explains that feeling like or believing that other people are worse off than you is not gratitude. Gratitude means that you actively appreciate all of the positive aspects of your current situation, even if you have some unfavorable things going on. Rather than seeing a homeless man and thinking to yourself, “He is much off worse off than me,” you see a homeless man and think to yourself, “I’m grateful that I overcame my substance abuse disorder, because now I have a roof over my head and I am capable of helping others because I am clear-headed and not so concerned with my own problems.” Gratitude is about an entirely new way of thinking.