When we were young, we were taught to say “thank you” for what other people had done for us or had given to us.
As we’ve grown older, it seems that saying thank you and expressing genuine gratitude has gotten lost in the hustle and bustle of lives moving at warp speed, especially and ironically, to the people that we care about most.
Expressing our feelings, is difficult for many of us because letting down or social guard we feel it makes us vulnerable and exposed; but did you know that expressing gratitude is one of the keys of living a happy life?
Being happy can be achieved in many different ways, being thankful for the blessing that we do have and enjoy every day such as all our loved ones, family, friends, health or even our stuff. The key here is to focus your gratitude on what you DO have and not spend time on what is lacking or challenging. (A quick note, I’m not suggesting having a “Polly Anna” attitude, and ignoring those issues in your life that require attention. I’m simply suggesting that you not give them any more attention that is necessary to deal with the situation or circumstance.)
Living your life in gratitude and appreciation you evolve a sense of fulfillment, joy and happiness; the real power of is how a life of gratitude servers you in the tough times.
In her article Alexandra Flood tells her story of the power of gratitude in tough time and shares some great ways to empower your gratitude practice. Here’s Alexandra…
Remember that thankfully, the majority of our problems are not life or death.
If we strive to remember this each time we feel discouraged or overwhelmed, our challenges shrink right before our eyes. Ta-da!
Be grateful for the “little” things. It can be enough to shift you into gratitude.
Sometimes we may feel stalled or that nothing is quite clicking, but that’s when it’s important to practice gratitude for things like breathing.
Speaking of which, try this exercise:
Find a quiet spot. Focus on your breath. Inhaling and exhaling through your nose. Feel your chest expand as you inhale. As your chest inflates, shift your attention to your heart.
After several breaths, you will begin to feel a warm, loving sensation. Congratulations, you have just cracked open a fresh barrel of “just happy to be alive!” and are experiencing the miraculous.
Write a list of all that you are grateful for. It’s like a mantra for thankfulness.
Jot it into a mini-journal that you can carry with you or try typing it in your smart phone (if you have one) and looking at it and updating it on a regular basis.
Some days we are just grateful the sun is out. Other days, we’re grateful to know the sun is still shining above the dark clouds. This simple knowledge can be enough to spark gratitude.
Before you fall asleep at night, reflect on all that you were grateful for during your day.
Like, “Today, the dog didn’t get sick on the rug” (like I said, sometimes it’s the “little” things). Falling asleep in a state of gratitude means that you’re entering slumber as a happy, present being.
This will hopefully, with practice (and all of this takes practice), carry over to the next morning. If not, then continue the process. While brushing your teeth, tick off ten things you’re grateful for to start your day.
Through my experience, I have come to believe that true happiness cannot exist without gratefulness. The good news is that while happiness may seem to elude us, gratitude is always within our reach, which means we all possess the map to happiness. How amazing is that? Continue reading here…
Trying to be grateful for the challenging and negative situations in your life is difficult and that’s why it is a practice and not an accomplishment. But it is through these difficult situations that we are given the opportunity for the greatest spiritual growth.
Every challenge is an opportunity for emotional growth and a deeper understanding of self.
Can we create happiness through gratitude? Yes because gratitude, appreciation and happiness have a symbiotic relationship; the more intention and attention is on one the others grow. That’s evolution.