What Happens When We Don’t Focus on Gratitude?

I am posting the missing part of the post on March 22, 2022. I started the post to tell about three problems. However, I became tired and sleepy. I decided to write only one problem but forgot to change the three problems to one. Below is the complete article. Thank you, Grace, for catching the error.

When some people think of gratitude, they think of the Thanksgiving holiday. But gratitude is so much more than an annual holiday. It’s a way of life that can profoundly impact you.

Just as gratitude can positively affect you, refusing to express gratitude has many adverse effects, including these three problems,

Poor Self-Image

It’s easy to develop a poor self-image when you focus on what you don’t have. For example, Mary’s parents couldn’t afford to get her braces when she was young. As she grew up, she would look in the mirror and focus on how ugly she thought her teeth were.

Over time, this habit led Mary to develop a poor self-image. Instead of seeing herself as a beautiful work of art, she focused on her flaws. The more she focused on her teeth, the less Mary wanted to take care of herself in other areas. It created a loop of negative thoughts that Mary carried everywhere she went.

Difficulty with Forgiveness

Emily was in an auto accident with a drunk driver. Although she survived, the accident left her with long-term nerve damage down the left side of her body. The other driver walked away without a scratch and without ever apologizing.

She waited to have her say in court, only for the other driver to get a light sentence. Emily fell into a deep depression. While she suffered every day in pain, the offender walked free, and his life was barely impacted.

Then one day, Emily wrote a letter she never sent. In it, she forgave the man who had hurt her so deeply. She decided to stop focusing on what the accident had taken from her that day. Instead, she looked at what it gave her—a second chance at life, a new business she loved, and a deeper relationship with her husband.

Negative Mindset

Paying too much attention to what you don’t have can create a negative mindset. It happened to Jody. She followed a leader she admired on Instagram. The woman’s posts seemed to indicate that her life was perfect. She had a beautiful home, a loving husband, a thriving business, and two /beautiful kids.

Over time, Jody became friends with the other woman. She was shocked to learn that the leader’s life wasn’t perfect.

The beautiful house was a rental because theirs destroyed in a hurricane. The loving husband was seriously ill and in need of caregiving. The woman’s children had life-threatening allergies. The thriving business was in the middle of a messy transition.

When Jody asked why the other woman never shared about these things on social media, the woman shrugged, “Despite it all, I feel blessed. Yes, my life is hard, but there’s so much I’m grateful for.”

Don’t allow negativity, bitterness, or a poor self-image to keep you from living your best life. Gratitude is a choice, and it’s one you can make right now, no matter what’s happening around you.

Until tomorrow, stay safe, and keep the faith.

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