Is there a connection between this common desire of the human race and gratitude? Some may believe that if you have all you desire you will be happy and once you are happy you will also be grateful, and it seems the obvious connection. But what if I ask you to think carefully if this is true? Is it really that happy people are grateful?
We all know someone who has everything one could ask for to be happy and they still are miserable. They are constantly seeking something. At times they are not even sure what they are seeking. Then there are also people who have all the misfortune one can have but still radiate happiness. Why? It’s because they are grateful for whatever they have. It is not happiness that makes you grateful, but gratefulness that will make you happy.
Have you ever wondered why a sight of a waterfall, rainbow, or any such nature's beauty brings an instant sense of calmness and peace? It's because we accept it the way it is, without finding faults in it. We don't think that if the rainbow had 8 colors it would look more beautiful. Or if the mountain was a bit more to the left, it would look better. We accept that these things are not in our control. What if we approach life with a similar attitude? What if we can accept that there will be things in our life beyond our control and we must accept them the way they are. I am not suggesting that you stop taking action. What I am suggesting is accepting that no matter how hard you try there will be things beyond your control. So instead of focussing on what is going wrong, we should focus on what is going right and happiness will become a habit.
Gratitude has become the most talked-about thing in the personal growth world in recent years. In the last decade, several studies have supported the effectiveness of practicing daily gratitude. Studies show that people who practice gratitude as a daily ritual are generally more positive, happier, and healthier. Research has shown that Practicing gratitude can lower the levels of cortisol, a stress-causing hormone, and can boost performance and productivity. Some studies also indicate that people who practice gratefulness, generally sleep better and express more compassion and kindness.
Gratitude helps you shift your vision. By the law of attraction, we attract what we focus on. If we constantly focus on things for which we are grateful, what are we more likely to attract? – More things to be grateful for. Similarly, if we keep focussing on things we don’t like, things which are going wrong, we will keep attracting more of these in our lives. Practice makes Perfect. The more you practice something better you get at it.
But how to practice gratitude? There are two things which you need to experience Gratitude. Something valuable must be given to you. And the value of this something must be far greater than the efforts (if any) you had to put in order to receive it. What is the one thing which we all are given at any time without making much effort to earn it? It is the present moment.
Every present moment is an opportunity that is given to us. We can do anything with that moment and if we did not use it the way we intended, we are given another moment and then another. Start your gratitude practice by being grateful for the present moment. This will also shift your perspective as you will start looking at every present moment as an opportunity.
As a species, our brains have been wired to help us survive therefore we automatically and constantly notice what is broken, undone, or lacking in our lives. How can we rewire our brain so we can experience all these amazing benefits of Gratitude? Gandhi once said, “I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet”. Gratitude is about counting your blessings. We do not need to look for reasons to be grateful. If you are reading this, chances are you have too many reasons already.
Here are a few techniques you can use to make gratitude a part of your day to day life:
As you practice gratitude you will notice an inner shift. You will become a happier and more positive person. And as a result, your relationships, productivity, and sleep will all significantly improve over time.
This blog is posted by Anurag Rai. Anurag is the Founder of Superhuman In You and Superhuman University. He is also the founder of multiple other businesses and a certified NLP & meditation practitioner.