I actually remember a turning point of realisation for me. I had always thought I had appreciated what was around me BUT now I understand that I wasn't fully recognising the true gifts the Universe and the world we live in has to offer.
It was the moment I started my gratitude journal and mentally started noting every time I came across something wondrous in my day that my life seemed to go up a different road, shifting up into a higher gear. Cruising along this road was so much more pleasurable and comfortable and remarkably the more I worked with appreciation and gratitude the better the places I was taken.
Initially training myself to 'notice the details' was something I needed to work on. I mean, seriously, when life is challenging, when everyday is fraught with issues of one sort or another spanning more than you think you are capable of dealing with it actually IS something you need to train yourself to do. I can guarantee you that it is well worth it though.
Releasing the negativity, focusing on the positive. When starting out with this change look at starting a gratitude journal. Write down 5 things EVERY day that you appreciate, that you are grateful for. This is best down before you sleep as your sub-conscious mind mulls over what you have been thinking about in the last 10-15 minutes before you sleep and you will wake the next day as a follow through feeling the effects of this thinking. You can only imagine how over a period of time this benefits you!
Here are some of the details I found myself noticing more...
How beautiful my kids laughter was, their smiles, the people they were growing into. Such an incredible experience every day with them, the good and the bad
Family, neices, nephews and little comments that would warm my heart
Friends; conversation and laughter
The magic of the world up close
Bugs in the garden
The way shadows fell making interesting shapes
Clouds! Look up, lay on your back in the grass and just watch as the clouds move and shape and change, magical
The sunshine and how amazing it feels on my skin
Sunsets and sunrises, what a gift!
The way a candle flickers and dances
Kind words from strangers, even just a random smile, a kind gesture
The feel of the ocean as it lapped over my feet
I could probably go on all day about what I am grateful for daily!
If you are in a difficult situation, if each day is a struggle and you find yourself constantly on the negative then I encourage you to do what it takes to turn that around. I have heard of a technique that is very cheap and easy to implement ... it is called 'rubber band therapy'. Basically you put a rubber band around your wrist (not too tight and not too loose!) and every time you have a negative thought or something slips out of your mouth that is not positive you flick yourself with the band. Its a quick and effective way to teach yourself positive thinking if you need physical encouragement!
It can be a long road sometimes but by taking baby steps it does not feel so daunting. Try anything to keep yourself moving in a forward direction, over time you will find life around you improving and through that improvement clarity and direction. I know I did <3