On being grateful.

Thanksgiving is that one American holiday that I wish was celebrated all over the world, probably because it's not strictly linked to a specific religion or culture. I have been thinking of writing about the topic of gratitude and giving thanks for sometime now, so what better moment than to do it on Thanksgiving day?

I have never been a positive person by nature - I have always looked at the negative side of things rather than looking at the good one first. My mind has worked like this forever. Now that it's almost over, I can easily say that 2014 has been the first tough year in my life and somehow all the difficult times I have gone through have started changing the way I see life. Slowly but surely.

I have learnt so much this year - maybe it's true what they say, that you only learn some things the hard way. I felt alone because I wasn't living with my family, I felt ugly because my acne had never been so bad and the only thing I was allowed to do was studying - no distractions allowed.

It was easy to get stuck in a negative thinking rut, and for some time I did. I constantly thought about all the things I didn't have -a boyfriend, perfect skin, free time-, and thought things couldn't get worse. WHAT?! How did I even get to that conclusion? Don't ask me. I was acting so silly. You know why?

I wasn't taking the time to think about all the things I did have. Yes, I was single. Yes, my skin was definitely not great, and yes, I had to spend 80% of my hours on textbooks. But what about all the millions of other things I didn't earn, but was gifted nonetheless? Tea. Your favourite food. A sunset. Your family. A pair of earrings. Health. A nice movie. Your favourite lipstick. A friend to talk to. Even having the possibility to attend University, despite how tedious it may be at times. If you wrote all the things you have on the side of a piece of paper and the things you don't have on the other, you would be amazed by the result. And you would feel a bit silly, too. I actually did this, with actual pen and paper, because I like making lists and writing things down; and I suggest you do it too.

Maybe it may seem unnecessary to some people, but something I find really helpful to keep me aware of all the positivity my life is filled with I keep a little book, which I call my Gratitude Journal, that I write every night right before I go to bed. I use a day-per-page Moleskine in which I write at least 5 things I am grateful for that day: yesterday I wrote "It was sunny today; I bought a book I had been wanting for ages; I am in peace". It doesn't have to be something extraordinary. Not every day something amazing happens, but that's ok. What's amazing, on the other hand, is the feeling I get when I read the pages I wrote on my journal – I highly recommend this way of keeping track of the positive things that happen in your life.

I will round up this post now by telling you what I try and remind myself every morning when I wake up:

You have so much. Everything will come to you at the right time. Be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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