I have been contemplating a lot about the past year, a rollercoaster year of highs and lows and I realised that the one big thing that makes me feel happy is being grateful. Every day since a year or so ago, I made it a habit to be grateful for things in my day. In the beginning this forced action was just that, forced. But over time, with patience and practice, my gratitude became natural, sincere and heartfelt. I believe that over time this habit has made me become a grateful person. When I had a good day, I’d be grateful. When I had a bad day, likewise, I’d be grateful – for anything I could be grateful for. And that made the bad days more bearable, and in hindsight, not so bad. There would always be something to be thankful for.
There are countless articles, books and videos that talk about the benefits of being grateful but until you experience it for yourself it is difficult to understand the true happiness being grateful can bring into your life. Cultivating gratitude is so important for happiness and fulfilment because if you can learn to appreciate what you already have then you have abundance in your life already and you do not need more from the external world. And by appreciating what you already have, you can truly appreciate when you receive more in your life. Likewise the opposite is true – if you cannot be grateful and appreciate what you already have, you will never be able to appreciate and be happy about what you have even if you receive more.
Every day I feel blessed and that I am a lucky person for the big things to the little things – my family who are always there for me, the opportunities that come to me or that I am able to make for myself, opportunities to try new things, to do fun things, the books I can read to deepen my knowledge about the world and the human condition, the random acts of kindness of strangers I experience so often when I need help the most, the opportunities and money that allow me to travel to new places I have never been to, the friendships that I have made and kept over the years, the abundance of friendship wherever I go, and the freedom to express myself more and more as I grow older.
I honestly think practicing gratitude has had a huge impact on my life, on my way of thinking, and that, had I not of made gratitude a habit, I would be much more negative and unappreciative. I have much to be grateful for, as I am sure you do if you look at your life from a grateful perspective. The start of the year 2018 has been a good year for me so far, and I am thankful for all the good things that have come to me and that is yet to come.
It is profound that when you are grateful, you start to notice that more good things come into your life. That is what I have found anyway. Good things come to those who are grateful. Perhaps you could say it is because when you’re feeling grateful and positive, you notice the good things, the opportunities in front of you, that you wouldn’t if you were negative. But either way, regardless of what you believe, it can only be a good thing to be thankful. And no one wants to be around, or to approach a miserable, negative person, so you are not going to attract anything good into your life by being negative. And I’ve noticed that when you give, not because of wanting to gain something in return but just because you feel it is the right thing to do, paradoxically, something be will be given back to you – whether in kindness when you need it and least expect it, or in the fulfilment and happiness it gives you. But that is another topic all together.
No matter your situation, there is always something you can be grateful for. And it is often in bad times, that we need to be grateful the most. Perhaps we can’t change the situation, but we can change the way we react to it. So every day count your blessings and give thanks for the good in your life.