Count Your Blessings

Why are we always complaining? Why do we constantly stress ourselves out? Every time I get together with my friends these days that’s all we seem to do, it’s like we get a kick out of comparing notes on how miserable we are! Moaning that we’re fed up with life, we need a twelve month holiday, we want to retire already! It’s so depressing, not to mention exhausting to talk about time after time, after time… :/

We’re just always putting unnecessary weight on our shoulders. Comparing our lives to that of EVERYBODY around us: keeping up with the Joneses. Convincing ourselves that we should be a lot more accomplished than we feel we are.

So-and-so’s backpacking around Asia for two years, what’s-her-face just got engaged, what’s-his-name just got promoted to head of his company! We tell ourselves that we’re failures in comparison, that we could do so much better, that we need to come up with a five-year plan because of course that will solve everything! Forever racing against time, contemplating our next big move, believing that the grass is greener on every side that we’re not on.

But what’s with all the negativity? It’s contagious yet needless. So let’s just take a second to think rationally and cut ourselves some much needed slack.

Sometimes it helps to talk to people from different backgrounds to our own, with different sets of responsibilities and priorities. People who in actuality may be a lot worse off than us but are noticeably more content with their lives. Often that’s all that it takes for us to realise that hold on a minute, we’re NOT epic failures, we DON’T have the worst lives in the world. We’re actually pretty lucky! Failing to count our blessings (which we have so many of) is something that we’re all guilty of.

I’m fortunate to be able to say that I actually enjoy my job, I have no urge to scream into a pillow or pull my teeth out whenever Sunday night rolls around. I’m also able to save a decent amount of money every month. I have a roof over my head and always have food on the table. I can count my true, ride-or-die friends on two hands. My family is more close-knit than it’s been in a long time. And we’re all in good health (touch wood!).

These are some of the things that I need to remind myself of the next time that I decide to pay a visit to Stressed City: a place where the favoured way to pass the time is to pace the streets fretting that the sky is falling. Newsflash: it’s not!

59 replies

  1. Good article, funny too. It reminds me that much of this “yak” which you refer to is just a battle for self-relevance in this world. Our culture imbibes us with this false idea that we have to compare ourselves to others, using false measuring sticks for “success”. Happiness never really comes from beating anyone or being “better” than someone else – it comes from living up to yourself. You don’t need relevance when you have yourself and your own self-certainty.

  2. This is the BEST thing I’ve read in the last week and it made me smile for some strange reason 🙂
    You’re so right…all of what you’ve said here is exactly how it is… and I’m guilty of it too…right till the moment I popped this open and read…I was doing the same – taking a trip down Stressed City.
    My husband always says, ‘People like to be miserable…they actually enjoy it.’ and I think he’s right… for we all indulge in misery and self-doubt… no matter how rich or poor… no matter how fortunate or unfortunate…we all do it.
    I’m going through a somewhat ‘meh’ phase in life and to be honest the feeling of ‘nothing is going right’ kicks in without notice… so I’ve promised myself to look at the bright side…at all times 🙂
    Whenever I’m feeling low, I sit down and breathe deep and say a prayer… a thank you for everything that’s RIGHT and that’s PRECIOUS in my life… trust me – it makes a world of a difference!
    Thanks for writing this post and sharing… you made me smile 🙂
    Love,
    Ankita
    https://beautyandthebeing.wordpress.com

    • Aww I’m so glad that my post had such a positive impact on you Ankita 😀 keep looking on the bright side and focusing on all of the good in your life, you’ll be out of that ‘meh’ phase in no time!

  3. There is just so much negativity out there, people seem to be do nothing else these days. I try to stay away from it and look on the positive side, it’s hard some days!lol

  4. Part of the reason is that we are way too involved in everyone’s lives! Who is doing what, who is dating whom, who is earning how much…..we are inherently nosy people and the comparisons become, in a sense, inevitable. Why do people torture themselves with these thoughts though, that’s beyond me. Some call it our competitive spirit, our “killer” streak. I wonder.

    • I think it’s good to a certain degree, because that ‘competitive spirit’ keeps us motivated and always striving for more. But when it has a negative effect and starts making you feel worthless, it’s time to ditch that attitude and adopt a new, positive mindset. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. I have to say, this is great insight for us as humans! I kind of was thinking the same thing, in a slightly more depressing note in my last blog…my father-in-law was just given his “life sentence”…lucky to MAYBE get one year after being diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer…we cried, we complained about the doctors he is using, the treatments…but in the end, it is his journey…and his body. But we found comfort in thinking about all the good stuff to do with him in this final year…and made me think of what I might do…one thing I would add after reading this, is not being that negative anymore…be happy for myself and others, find the good in all things bad…thank you for writing this.

    • Wow, you and your family are incredible people! Adopting a positive mindset in a tough situation likes yours requires so much strength, I respect that a lot. I hope you continue to concentrate on the positives and make the absolute most of the time that he has left with you. It’s great that you all banded together and came to this realisation while you still have him with you. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  6. I’m with you on this one. I think that there’s enough in life to be thankful for, and we need to start focusing on our blessings instead of crying about what we don’t have. In my experience, sometimes it’s better if our wishes don’t come true. 🙂

  7. Nice blog post! I personally go through periods of stress and no stress with my job as a mild mannered school and event photographer. I have come to accept that during some times of the year, I’ll be extremely busy and my life will be stressful. However, I know I will survive. Thanks for writing this and thanks also for following my blog!

  8. I love the “e.w.s” in your opening. I guess I’m guilty of that as well. I have tons of tupperware tubs filled with journals. I started 29 years ago and have barely gone a day without jotting something down, okay, more than just something; a lot of somethings. Keep it up. Keep writing. So healing!
    Beth

  9. I think sometimes we forget to give ourselves credit for what we’ve already accomplished. For ex, my friend is engaged and having her wedding in a few months. Her family and his are paying for it. She has a job in accounting & he has a job in a hospital and together they make great money. I’ve known her since we were 8 years old so I’m always comparing myself bc I feel like we practically started of the same.

    But then I remember I’ve accomplished things too & that my life hasn’t remained stagnant. I travel once a year with my bf. I have a bachelors degree too. I have my own apartment with my bf. Ive been with my bf for 10 years. I have a paid off car. And I’m sure there’s people who envy that too. But regardless of what I have and she has or he has, we all go through struggles. I think we all walk our own path and our sights along the path may be different but in the end it’s the same idea…we all have highs and lows, good and bad. We have to give ourselves some props and appreciate who we are. (I DEF relate to you though, my friends and I play the comparison game too sometimes.)

  10. I like “Count your blessings”. I like the thought of knowing that my life is filled with the promise of multiple blessings. Therefore I have hope, and hope does not disappoint. If I deal with negative situations in my life, I don’t worry or fret about them. It is the unresolved issues of life that keep me awake at night. When I’m worried and I can’t sleep, just count my blessings instead of sheep, and I’ll fall asleep counting my blessings.

    • Definitely agree with you there, social media is one of the main reasons for why we all feel the need to outdo one another and lead the most perfect life (by social media standards any way). Thanks for your comment 🙂

  11. Haha, yes, the sky’s not falling. I’m glad I read this. I needed this today. 🙂
    Looking forward to lots of fun and interaction with you in future. 🙂

  12. So true! It’s all about perspective.
    After going through a really rough patch, I started this blog as a way to help me mend and provide the same platform for others in need of healing. The main sticking point is that I survived and I’ve learned to be thankful for what I ‘do’ have as opposed to fussing about what I don’t.

    Of course there are things I’d like to achieve — goals, dreams etc, but I’m a lot more realistic now and dare I say, ‘content’.

    Great post!

  13. So true. And savour your good moments. A friend of mine calls those “pearls on a string” – everytime she comes across one of those special moments, she stops mentally and adds the moment’s pearl to her string. Not a bad thing to do…

  14. Maybe we should count our blessing…all the above is true…I used to complain too and when day I was about to say “I have problems of my own” when it hit me…I really don’t have problems…I lost reasons for complaining…like you said…the sky is not falling

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