Guest Post by Tatiana Padron Perich, CMT-200
Gratitude and joy are two powerful emotions that can have a profound impact on our lives. Gratitude is the act of being thankful and appreciative for what we have, while joy is the feeling of happiness and contentment that comes from experiencing positive events. Together, these two emotions can create a sense of fulfillment and happiness that can improve our mental and physical well-being.
Joy can come from spending time with loved ones, achieving a goal, or simply enjoying life’s small pleasures. It can bring us a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that can improve our overall well-being. It can also help us to build resilience and cope with difficult times, by reminding us that there is still goodness and beauty in the world.
Together, gratitude and joy can create a powerful positive feedback loop. By practicing gratitude, we can cultivate a sense of abundance and contentment that makes it easier to experience joy. And by experiencing joy, we can reinforce our sense of gratitude and appreciation for the good things in our lives.
I discovered the significance of gratitude and joy in my life when I started to practice mindfulness. I was suffering, like many humans, with worries, sadness, and dissatisfaction with my achievements. I took everything for granted and only lived in the constant search for what I did not have, instead of focusing on the wonderful things I had at that moment.
When I was 38 years old and married with a young daughter, I lived in the constant stress of leading a busy life, trying to pursue my dreams of being the best in my career. Society or family sometimes creates beliefs in our mind. I grew up with a mindset of perfection, to be the best mother, the best professional – the best in everything. I worked more than 50 hours a week and I came home tired and worried because of my pursuit to create the “perfect” family. The stress that perfection often entails generates states of anxiety that one sometimes does not realize.
During this time, my behavior was aggressive and I had very little sense of humor. I would get out of bed with a thousand thoughts of “must do”. I worried about money, work, my daughter, and my husband. Nothing anyone did satisfied me. If my family did something nice, I would say, “That’s great”, but in my mind I was always looking in the rear-view mirror. I was even this way with myself. If I prepared a wonderful meal and everyone celebrated it, instead of saying “Thank you”, I would say, “Oh well, yes, it was ok but…” My mood was irritable. While I bathed, dressed and prepared breakfast, I was raising my voice at my daughter to get ready and complaining to my husband if something was missing. If they asked me for something, I replied in an ungrateful way. It was a constant pattern.
Then one day while I was getting ready for the day, feeling cranky and yelling at my husband and daughter to hurry up, my husband stood up to me and said to me, “You must stop waking up every day with this attitude. This must change.” The soul sincerity with which he said this shocked me. I had no reply. I began reflecting on my behavior. This was one of those awakening moments that inspired change. I realized that despite my pursuit of perfection, nothing could ever be perfect. There would always be something missing and if I continued this mindset, I would never feel satisfied or at peace with myself.
Practicing mindfulness and gratitude every day made me change the way I was thinking and helped me find joy in the present moments of my life. Over time,I started to notice that I felt more optimistic and resilient, even in the face of challenges. My stress levels decreased and I was better able to cope with difficult situations. By practicing gratitude, I cultivated a sense of abundance and contentment that has improved my mental and emotional well-being.
When we practice gratitude, we focus on the positive aspects of our lives rather than dwelling on the negative. Every morning, take a few minutes to write down three things you’re grateful for. Maybe it’s your family, your health, or the fact that you have a job that pays the bills. By focusing on the positive aspects of your life, you begin to shift your mindset away from stress and towards appreciation. Rather than getting bogged down by negativity, you begin to improve your overall well-being and cultivate a sense of appreciation. In fact, studies have shown that practicing gratitude can improve physical health by reducing stress and inflammation in the body.
In conclusion, cultivating gratitude and joy can have a profound impact on our lives. By focusing more on the positive aspects of our lives and opening to joy when we can, we may improve our mental and physical well-being and build resilience in the face of adversity. So take a moment to reflect on the good things in your life, and allow yourself to experience joy whenever the opportunity arises.