We all need a wake-up call every so often; sometimes we need to  remember to appreciate all that we have, and to be grateful for the troubles that we don’t have rather than those that we do. I am truly grateful to have Parkinson’s; I could have been diagnosed with a much more aggressive or terminal condition and so I appreciate the health problems that I am blessed not to have. I am also grateful that Parkinson’s was my own wake-up call to do a complete inventory of my life and to make the changes that needed to be made.

Every day I am so grateful for so many things in my life; I am grateful for the ‘little things’, and I try to remember to never take these things for granted. Gratitude and good mental health go hand in hand. How often do we focus on the things that we do have, rather than those that we don’t? We need to remember that those things that we take for granted will one day come to an end…

There is nothing wrong with desiring to improve your life; but pause to reflect on the blessings that you do already have. If you have a roof over your head, food in the fridge, fresh water, heat and clothing, then you are already better off than so many people throughout the World. If you are living in a peaceful country and do not have to seek asylum, then you are luckier than so many other people. If you have good health, then do all that you can to appreciate it and do nothing at all to jeopardise it. Many people would swap your troubles for theirs in a heartbeat.

Gratitude encourages you to see everything as a gift and you will naturally tend to complain less. When you feel privileged, you tend to realise that there are so many people far worse off than you are and you may get your concerns into perspective. Make gratitude a daily practice, keep a journal, recite your gratitude list on your journey to work or in the shower, make it a habit and it will change your mindset completely.  Gratitude will enhance your mood; so, try to think of those things that you are grateful for when you are faced with problems. Many studies show that those who are grateful are more compassionate, less stressed, happier, more optimistic and more satisfied with their lives. Perhaps it’s worth a try?

I truly believe that if you are grateful, you will receive more to be grateful for, and if you complain, you will attract more to complain about; your thoughts become your reality. So, stop focusing on what you don’t have, and cherish what you do have. Think good thoughts and you will attract more, think thoughts of abundance and you will appreciate how abundant you are. Remember that life is an echo; you get back what you send out.

Your happiness and mental health are a product of your thoughts, so make them good ones. Many of us will know that our lives can be changed forever in a split second, and things can take a downturn at any moment. Most of us can look back to times that we didn’t appreciate blessings that we no longer have. So, take a minute to appreciate how truly blessed your life truly is and start counting your lucky stars…

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