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November 24, 2015

How to Appreciate those Things We Don’t Like.

Flickr/M Yashna

Often, we encounter things in life which are just not “our thing”—you know, those things we are just not crazy about doing.

For example, we get home after work—and instead of relaxing and enjoying the evening—we discover dirty laundry, dirty dishes, unanswered emails or phone calls and our dinner still needs to be prepared.

Who wants to deal with all that after work?

Or perhaps, we are dissatisfied with our job, because we’re not following our passion—or dissatisfied with a relationship, but we just don’t want to deal with it.

There are so many things—big and small—that can irk us in some way. But I’ve found a practice, which helps me deal with these things and remain happy, despite them. Sometimes I even end up feeling happier, as a result of this practice.

It’s the practice of appreciation and changing our point of view. Here are some examples:

1. Dirty laundry or dishes.

Instead of feeling annoyed or overwhelmed, we can feel happy that we have so much stuff to clean and become aware of how all that stuff serves us. There are many people in the world who would be happy with just a cup of their own to clean or a winter coat which needs to be hand-washed.

2. Preparing breakfast, lunch or dinner.

We can be thankful we have something to eat—most times, anything we’d like. In the rush of the day, we often forget that our earth provides everything we need, and that most of us are in the lucky position to afford anything we want to consume. To be able to prepare and clean after a meal is an honor.

3. Cleaning our room, apartment or house.

We have four walls we live within—this is reason enough to be happy. This space protects us and belongs to us. Let’s show this space some love and celebrate it, when we need to clean it.

4. Emails, phone calls and social media.

We can be happy that there are people out there who, more or less, love interacting with us. If something feels like it’s weighing on us too much, or it annoys us, we should take the time to sort things out, to make it easier in the future. We can feel happy that all interactions, and dialogues with other people, reflect back on who we are and help us grow.

5. Dealing with bureaucratic nonsense.

I always try to consider that those sorts of things were initially created to make life easier (even if these things can feel like a burden sometimes). Doing taxes, for example, or buying insurance. We can appreciate the fact that there are institutions or companies which help us in the case of disease, accident or damage.

6. Doing a job we don’t like.

There are different layers to this one. Yes, we can always be happy that we have a job—and yes, if we don’t like our job, perhaps it is a sign to change it, in a way that we can become more satisfied. Generally, being passionate about our jobs our job—or appreciating that we have work in the meantime—is a good choice.

7. Dealing with people we don’t like.

Similarly to numbers four and six above—we can be happy that there are people we connect with. If the connection gives us unpleasant feelings, then we know there is something to change. It might be a change within ourselves, or  it might mean the cancellation of this connection. In any case, we can appreciate the opportunity to learn and evolve from it.

Essentially, everything is just a matter of how we look at it. If we take the opportunity to practice appreciation every time we are annoyed or bothered, things will become easier. Moreover, the practice of gratitude increases our overall happiness, heart-connectedness and how we deal with life in general.

Practicing gratitude makes us shine brighter, and it will attract even more of the good things we do love.

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Relephant:

The Gratitude Agenda. {Plus 5 Great Quotes on Thankfulness}

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Author: Christine Stein 

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/M Yashna

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Christine Stein