It’s human to feel unappreciative when things do not feel good.
“Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new, hoping it will make them happier or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.”
It is human to feel unappreciative when things do not feel good. I know there are moments in our daily routines at work that do not feel good or satisfying. It happens to me; I’m not always grateful at work, especially when I receive an email that I perceive as demanding, or when in a meeting, I hear comments that I do not appreciate from my co-workers or boss. Still, as a researcher and practitioner in mindfulness, meditation, and self-awareness, I have learned to remind myself to enjoy those moments as beneficial. I feel empowered, grateful, and content when I see them as learning opportunities. I go from being the victim to being the powerful woman who knows her value regardless of others’ attitudes.
I have learned through continuous practice to be grateful for those uncomfortable moments because I have benefited in many different ways. For example, I have become more resilient and skillful when dealing with people who do not share my point of view. I have grown as a person in that I judge less and observe with empathy more, and this is part of my daily self-awareness practice. Also, when I can appreciate my colleagues and boss and the uncomfortable email or comment, I am exercising my personal power, which gives me a sense of self-confidence and motivates me to show my gratitude to those around me.
The practice of gratitude does not come to us naturally; we must practice it consciously. We must practice and cultivate this ability at work, especially if the environment is only sometimes friendly or motivating. We must be intentional, requiring awareness, commitment, and inner strength. I have seen that if I do not practice giving thanks and appreciating what I have, which is already there every day, it will not happen. According to my research, people who work in negative environments do not feel encouraged to appreciate and value what they have because there is a deep-seated belief that we all have in our subconscious mind that says that we cannot appreciate that which does not feel good.
I encourage you to practice gratitude regardless of the environment or people around you. Do it for yourself and see what happens. For example, when I feel frustrated or irritated, I am aware of it; I allow myself to feel it all, and then I say I am grateful for these uncomfortable emotions and feelings. I value their contribution to my evolution. When I started this practice, it felt unnatural, and my body resisted it, but I persisted, and I have seen how it has evolved through time. It went from feeling strange and even ridiculous to feeling expansive and joyful, which at the same time, facilitates appreciating other people. This practice has allowed me to experience gratitude even when my mind says, are you kidding! There is nothing to be grateful for now or under this circumstance; most of the time, the results outweigh the effort and energy I put into it, and I have seen that I am more appreciative of others.
Intentionally practicing gratitude requires self-love, which simultaneously requires bringing attention and focus to ourselves, even though it might feel uneasy because there might be confusingly limiting beliefs telling us that self-love is egotistic. So many distorted ideas influence the behaviors we are unaware of because they are part of the subconscious mind.
Gratitude makes me feel whole, and that is why I practice it.