for about the first 20 years of my life, I essentially never expressed gratitude. I was raised an atheist and pretty much rejected an religious ideas and more than that i really disliked them actually.For the most part I still do to this day, but i recently have accepted some spiritualness in to my life but will forever dismiss organized religion. So on the classic days of gratefulness like Christmas and Thanksgiving, I pretty much dismissed them as ridiculous bullshit. Around the time I started doing yoga consistently, around a year ago, my attitude towards gratefulness really changed, this was also around the time that I lost a lot of weight and my attitude on the world really turned around. Prior to this change in my life, I was very unhappy with myself and the way my life was going, I think this had a massive effect on my perception of everything around me. I was bitter and pretty much ungrateful with everything around me, even if someone would do something very nice for me, I was unable of truly appreciating it. But when I had lost a lot of weight and changed a lot of my self destructive habits I became a lot happier with myself and my self confidence went way up. But I still was never really pushed towards gratefulness,until I went to yoga. Most yoga teachers, preach gratefulness throughout their class, After every yoga class they let you relax for a few minutes, for about the first year of yoga, that was one of the hardest parts for me, i couldn’t sit still for that long and my mind was going crazy. but I can actually remember the first day I actually allowed myself to go that place of gratitude, it was the first time i experienced a meditative state of mind and it was amazing, absolutely blew me away. Ever since that moment, I have made sure that I focus on gratitude not only in my yoga practice, but i have also started meditating pretty much everyday with the headspace app. When i meditate, I sit and accept where I am in life, and allow myself to find and appreciate the good parts of my life, and there are way more than i ever realized before I made it a focus in my life.
I think our growth centric economic system actually played a role in this, I was like the poster child for the ideal consumer. I wanted wanted and wanted until i couldn’t any more, and even when I got something i had really wanted i wasn’t satisfied and I just wanted something else. I would never blame our system for my issues growing up because I think everyones life is their own responsibility and they will make what they can of it. but I think our system is made to push people, especially children down this path and let me tell you from first hand experience it can lead you to some very dark places.