How Not to Take Things for Granted

gratitude happiness Nov 20, 2022

It's easy to take things for granted. We often don't appreciate the simple things in life until they're gone. In today's society, we are constantly told to buy more, consume more, and be more. This can lead to a feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction. However, we shouldn't forget that we may already have what we need to be happy and fulfilled. This blog post will discuss how not to take things for granted and how they can help us live happier lives.

We may already have what it takes to be happy.

There is a tendency for us to keep moving forward in life. But, unfortunately, every day can get too busy with work and responsibilities we have to do at home. But, on the other hand, we also spend time socializing with friends and enjoying our hobbies and passions. It's like we always have to chase something in the future to attain something that can make us feel happy and fulfilled.

Things won't always go according to plan, however. The things we want to attain and achieve may sometimes be too out of reach, or we may fail along the way. When such things happen, we can feel frustrated and depressed for not attaining our goals. However, take a pause and look at your present surroundings. Sometimes, we get so busy with life that we forget to appreciate what we already have. For all we know, we may already have what can make our lives fulfilled and happy. There are many things to be thankful for, and most are simple enough, but we may take things for granted because we think our happiness and fulfillment come from more prominent and expensive items. However, we are still alive each day, in good health, have friends and family, and have a steady source of income, and these are just some of the things we can feel grateful for having. We only need to notice them, and we may already have a better life than we think.

Feeling grateful doesn't require too much effort. We only need to remember to do some things that will help us appreciate the good things we already have in life.

1. Get present in the moment

Taking things for granted happens because our heads may be up in the clouds, thinking about the future. There is this idea that the things that can make us feel happy and fulfilled are those that belong in the future, which can be attained through hard work and time. However, there can be a problem with this kind of thinking.

Nothing is wrong with dreaming about the future and striving for something. It makes us more motivated and trains us to be more disciplined and efficient with our time and energy. The problem comes when we depend on our happiness for the future, and we can only be happy once we attain what we are striving to work hard for and obtain later in life. When we fail and have this kind of thinking, we can feel utterly disappointed because we may have high expectations for the future. So when a failure occurs, our chance for happiness also falls.

However, our happiness and fulfillment don't need to exist only in the future. We can already feel it right now if we choose to do it. Taking more time to focus and savor the present moment can help us feel more gratitude. It's about being aware of what you have right now and what you can do. You may suddenly feel surprised that you already have what you need to be happy, and desiring more may not be necessary.

2. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is about noticing what's happening and the things around you in the present. It is connected with getting in the present moment. To be mindful, you have to focus more on the present. Practicing mindfulness creates a new appreciation for the little things around you that you may overlook if you are rushing through life. And these small things may be the essential things you can ever have, but we may be taking them for granted because they are always there. Sometimes, we only notice how vital something or someone is the moment they disappear from our lives. So we should try to make it a habit to pay attention and appreciate what we have now. It can be our best friend, our family, the work and house that we have, our good health, etc. We need to direct our focus on them to appreciate their value.

3. Take it slow

Do you sometimes feel like life moves too fast and you can't keep up? It's no wonder you take things for granted if everything is blitzing past you and you don't have time to notice them anymore. One thing that can help with gratitude is to take it slow with life. Try to evaluate everything that you have to do daily. Do you have to do everything on your to-do list? Setting priorities and identifying what matters to you can lessen your workload, and you can only do so much every day. Avoid multitasking if you can, and do things one at a time. Your focus and attention can get divided and distracted if you do many things simultaneously. You don't need to rush if you know what to do and can feel happiness in the present from the small daily moments in your life.

4. Create a journal

Journaling is an effective way to appreciate the things you accomplish and have in life. You can make it a practice to write in a journal at the end of the day the things you are grateful for and the accomplishments you have done. By writing them in a journal, you have something to remind yourself that you are in a good position and your life may be better than you think, especially if you compare your life status with others. Some people struggle with meeting basic needs daily and may not have the things you have right now. Keeping a gratitude journal keeps your head in the right place. When things go wrong, or you feel bad because you didn't gain or achieve something, look at your journal to remind yourself that you still have things to be thankful for and your life is not lacking.

5. Find contentment in life

Once gratitude sets in your life, you can stop taking things for granted and find contentment. Feeling contented happens when you are satisfied with your lot, and you may not feel the need to desire more than what you have. It doesn't mean you don't strive and dream big anymore. It's just that even if you fail and don't achieve something, you don't beat yourself too hard for it because you know you still have something else in your life that can make you happy. To be contented in life, we must have the means to meet all our needs first, followed by wants if possible. It is in our wants that we can make adjustments, and since these things are not completely necessary, we can make do by removing some of them or lessening the need to acquire them, and we can still be okay with our lives.

Don't forget to say "Thanks!"

Gratitude goes a long way in making a difference in our lives. It helps us fare better during hard times because we may not be at a total loss yet and know we still have things to be grateful for. In addition, thanking everybody that helps us go through our daily lives, no matter how big or small their help is, contributes to maintaining good relationships with people. Thanking somebody helps another person's self-worth and shows that they are significant and valuable to somebody else's life. As much as possible, we should keep appreciating what we have because we never know when something may disappear, such as the people who support and help us. When things are going well, and our lives feel abundant, we should try to pause and take a step back and say "Thank you" to everything and all those who made it possible for us to achieve and attain everything we have.

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