Teen Voices: Living in Gratitude
"I don’t want to do my homework,” “Ugh, my room is messy,” “I don’t like the way I look today.” These types of complaints somehow manage to creep their way into our lives. At school, sometimes it seems that we are listing complaints more than actually communicating. Yes, life can be challenging sometimes, but it should not be the focal point of our perspective.
The homework I need to do means that I am fortunate enough to have an education. The room that needs cleaning means that I have a safe place to sleep every night. The reflection I see means I have the gift of sight to see every day. We have to make the conscious decision to appreciate our lives, especially when it comes to the tasks we may not like doing. Changing your perspective to one of appreciation can help make the little daily challenges more manageable.
A bad day? Chances are it was not completely bad. Many times, negative moments and challenges interrupt a normal day; they do not usually last the whole day. It is our perception that can either manipulate these moments into larger problems or relieve us of the stress they cause. Instead of focusing on the one bad hour of the day where you were embarrassed, hurt, stressed or annoyed, recognize all the good parts of your day. The friend that complimented your outfit. The food you had to eat. The person that you vent to about your not-so-good moments. Even if you cannot think of anything like this, the point is that you had a day: you woke up and you lived.
It is so easy to get caught up in the things that bother us. Focusing on negativity can become a habit, integrated into our daily routine. Changing your perspective, while maybe not so easy, can ease the burden of life’s more difficult moments. By altering the way we view each day, we can recognize and appreciate the positivity within our lives.
Hannah Adamson is a senior in high school. She practices meditation and takes ThetaHealing courses with Reshma Shah in Westfield, New Jersey. June 2019