It Helps to Feel Grateful for the BasicsThe other week, I was struggling with a very unstable computer (yes, this is apparently a technical term).

It seems to be behaving itself now, and I am so happy! I take my word-processer, my email, and my internet access for granted, but when they aren’t available as easily as usual, I realize how much these tools add to my happiness and how much they contribute to my ability to work easily and smoothly.

One of the unhappy truths about human nature is that it’s hard for us to appreciate what we have, until we lose it. When we lose something like electricity or running water, or worse, our health, then it’s clear how mightily such things contribute to happiness and comfort.

In college, a friend told me about the “Lost Wallet Syndrome.” “No matter what’s happening in your life,” he explained, “if you lose your wallet, you think, ‘How happy I would be if I would only find my wallet.’ But then, if you find it, you’re happy for about two minutes, and then you’re right back where you started.”

One of my aims with my happiness project is to appreciate what I have, while I still have it. I don’t want to look back, after some loss or some catastrophe, and think, “How happy I was then, if only I’d realized it.”

I have so much to be grateful for that it seems a bit preposterous that I need to remind myself to be grateful—but I do. When things are taking their ordinary course, it’s so easy to take everyday life for granted.

Every time I sit down at my computer, I think, “How happy I am to be back at my computer, doing the work I love.” Now I’ve added a second part, “How happy I am to be at my computer, doing the work I love, on a computer that’s working properly.”

Do you find it hard to remember to appreciate the basics? What strategies do you use to keep yourself in a grateful frame of mind?

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 0 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

Trackbacks


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 May 2012
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Rubin, G. (2012). It Helps to Feel Grateful for the Basics. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/05/13/it-helps-to-feel-grateful-for-the-basics/

 

Recent Comments
  • Lawrence: I find that I often feel depressed and anxious when the weather warms up just before a cold front passes....
  • chirssy: at work..I’m dealing with someone who screams at any sort of crticism.. She went into a fit and i kept...
  • cj: I too have a mental health issue. I have been diagnosed for 34 years with bipolar1. We are stronger than most...
  • Z K: While genetic tests for establishing whether or not you have a psychiatric disorder may currently not be...
  • Still Scarred: From ages 12 to 17 I had a best friend whom I didn’t realize at the time was emotionally...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 6991
Join Us Now!