American Rabbi, Psychologist, Author and Lecturer
American Rabbi, Psychologist, Author and Lecturer
Sharing with others helps you appreciate what you have.
The life of a person who loves to do acts of kindness will be a life of joy.
There is no time limit on gratitude. If you realize in the present that you hadn't expressed gratitude to someone for something that he did for you a long time ago, don't think that it's too late to express gratitude. Whenever you remember past kindnesses and favors done, express your thoughts and feelings of gratitude now.
A happy and joyful person has mastered the art of thinking in patterns that create happiness and joy. Let this be your mind.
An Avoidable Worry: Oftentimes the calamities that people worry about never occur. Imagine: If you constantly worry about potential disasters, even if your life will work out perfectly in all respects, you will still live a life of suffering. Such suffering is entirely self-caused and unnecessary. Whenever you catch yourself worrying about a potential negative event, ask yourself, 'How do I know for sure this will occur?'
Be Honest About Your Faults: Approval-seekers feel a necessity to put themselves in a better light than they really are. Because they try to hide their faults, they are nervous about others finding out what they're really like. Their situation is like that of a spy in enemy territory. If, however, they are honest about their mistakes and faults, they will be much more relaxed. They will also find that others behave more positively toward them for their honesty. While it is not worthwhile to go to the opposite extreme and tell everyone you meet about your faults, if you stop being defensive about your faults [while you are, of course, trying to correct them to become your better self], you will live a more serene life.
Each second of life is precious. And I won't waste it by causing myself needless distress...I will look at the present as a gift and an opportunity.
Feelings Aren't Facts: Some people feel discouraged. They then assume that these feelings are facts: since they feel discouraged that is a 'proof' there is no hope. But feelings only represent a person's present state of mind, they cannot predict the future. They can ask themselves: 'Do my present feelings actually prove that there is no hope?' Of course not. There is never absolute proof that your situation will not improve. By believing you have no hope, you are causing yourself great harm. Adopt the attitude: 'It is always possible that the future will turn out much brighter than I presently feel it will. What constructive action can I take for improvement?'
Having a deep realization of your intrinsic value protects you from the need to prove to anyone else [or yourself, through your friends, words, actions or possessions] that you are an important person. [Ego and humility]
It is easy to condemn others. It is not as easy to assist them to improve, but much more beneficial.
Learn [And Grow] From Your Experience: The essence of wisdom is to have a complete grasp of reality. A wise person knows the probable consequences of a particular course of action. Therefore, someone with experience in a particular is regarded as 'wise' because he has personal knowledge of which actions produce which outcomes. Internalize the knowledge you have obtained from your experience; this will earn you the title, 'a wise person.' Next time you find yourself in a painful or uncomfortable situation, tell yourself, 'With this experience I am gaining more wisdom.' If your mind ever takes you back to past painful events, view them as your personal 'University of Wisdom.'
One way out of the worry pattern is to think of potential solutions. Whenever you worry about something, imagine three or more alternate outcomes.
Rehearse Coping Strategies:- Here is a powerful tool that will help you cope with even the most difficult situations: Mentally picture yourself coming across difficult life tests - and then see yourself coping well with them. Repeat this over and over again in your mind... Today, think of a specific life test that you can apply this to.
Some of the faults a person who has low self-esteem may have are: sensitivity to criticism, over-response to flattery, hypercritical attitude, tendency towards blaming, tendency towards reclusiveness and shyness.
The more frequently you focus on your appreciation and gratitude for each breath, the greater will be your sense of daily gratitude... Now say, 'I am joyfully grateful for each and every breath.' [If you have any doubt of your gratitude, just imagine the alternative for a moment - not being able to breathe!]
Think of instances when you persisted and were later glad that you did.
A key element in why it's easy to lack gratitude is because human nature is to take things for granted when we get used to having them. To master gratitude we need to stop taking things for granted and to increase our thoughts of appreciation... As an exercise, choose a day to not take anything for granted. Look at everything as if it were new. Look at everything as if this were the first time that this positive thing was happening. Look at all that you own as if you just bought or received them today. Look at what you have as if it were invented recently and you are one of the first people on the planet to get it. Hopefully this exercise will give you the experience of what it's like to not take things for granted.
An Hour of Gratitude: There is a powerful exercise that will greatly help you upgrade your level of gratitude. Designate an hour a day to be your hour of gratitude. During this hour keep your focus on gratitude. Isn't an hour a long time to do this? Yes, it is. When you actually do this exercise for a month, you will find the benefits so great that you will make the effort to keep it up for an hour a day tremendously worthwhile. And what about spending an hour a day focusing and thinking about what you don't like, what you are unhappy about, what you are resentful about, what you are envious of, what you find frustrating, what's not happening that you want to happen, what might go wrong in the future (also known as worrying), what has already gone wrong in the past. Isn't an hour a long time to spend on thinking these thoughts? Yes, it is. And many people would find it a great blessing to only think these thoughts for just one hour a day and the rest of the day to think more pleasant and enjoyable and beneficial and growth-oriented thoughts. Making a resolution to designate an hour a day reserved for thoughts of gratitude will make it easier for you to overcome a tendency to think thoughts that create stress and distress. 'But I don't have that many things to be grateful for,' some people might argue. 'You would be surprised!' is the answer. Try it out and you will find that you have much more to be grateful for than you usually are aware of. If you go to a store to buy something, be grateful that the store is there. Be grateful that you have the money to buy what you want to buy, or that someone is willing to lend you the money, or that a store is willing to give you credit. If you meet someone you know, be grateful that you have people who are friendly towards you. If the telephone rings, be grateful that you can hear. If you see anything, be grateful that you can see. If you have food to eat, be grateful for that food. If you read something, be grateful that your brain is functioning and you know how to read. If you smile to yourself in a mirror, be grateful that you have the positive feedback that will help you master positive states. If you begin to feel irritated or upset over something and remember that this is your hour of gratitude, be grateful that your memory is working and that you have things to be grateful for and that you can access a gratitude state rather than an unpleasant one. If someone else needlessly makes a negative comment, you can say, 'This is my hour of gratitude, and I would be very grateful to you if you could point out some things we can be grateful for during this hour.'
Be Humble, Be Happy: - A person who is sincerely humble will be constantly happy. A humble person realizes that nothing is owed him, and therefore feels [if not completely] satisfied with what he has [he is grateful that it is not worse, as it of course always could be. Therefore]... He constantly has peace of mind and always feels the joy of life [as he continues to strive to meet his needs, wants and dreams and to be his best self].
Empathy Brings Relief: When a person who is suffering sees others empathize with him, he feels a degree of relief. Hence if you want to help someone overcome suffering, instead of telling him that he has nothing to worry about, or that his situation is not so bad, try to share his suffering and communicate that you feel for him.
Find the Silver Lining: When things don't work out the way you wish, always look for some positive outcome to the situation working out the way it did. For example, you can always be grateful that things didn't turn out even worse.
Hear the Underlying Factors: If you get insulted, ask yourself, 'What underlying factors are motivating this person to insult me?' Regardless of the words the person is using, the underlying message is that he is frustrated or discouraged. Try to react towards him in the context of his underlying problems and not his actual words.
It is hard to know what is good luck and what isn't and therefore whether we should be happy or sad about it. Only time will tell. For example... The Talmud relates a story about two people who wanted to travel by boat. One broke his foot and was unable to make the trip, while his friend got on the boat. The one who missed the boat cursed his misfortune. A few days later, however, he heard that the boat sank and all the passengers drowned.
Learn From Your Experience: The essence of wisdom is to have a complete grasp of reality. A wise person knows the probable consequences of a particular course of action. Therefore, someone with experience in a particular is regarded as 'wise' because he has personal knowledge of which actions produce which outcomes. Internalize the knowledge you have obtained from your experience; this will earn you the title, 'a wise person.' Next time you find yourself in a painful or uncomfortable situation, tell yourself, 'With this experience I am gaining more wisdom.' If your mind ever takes you back to past painful events, view them as your personal 'University of Wisdom.'
One way to build up a positive mental data base about your spouse is to compose an 'appreciation [or gratitude] list.' Every time your spouse says or does something you appreciate write it down. Then keep rereading your list. As you focus on the positive actions of your spouse, you will notice things that you previously had taken for granted and overlooked. Moreover, your positive feelings will create an atmosphere in which your spouse will say and do more positive things!