Adopting Gratitude As A Lifestyle
The world we live in has become so selfish and ungrateful. People are self-centred. Life has become complicated and making ends meet has become a struggle so much that families have been broken and friendships ruined as individuals try to survive and provide for their immediate families. With the continued meltdown of the economy on a global scale and the longing to live a high life, securing the bag has become the main and most important part of daily living. The value of individuals has generally been attached to their financial value. People feel inadequate, anxious, and are suffering from mental illness because of the pressure to be ‘successful. ‘
But the question is; isn’t this limited focus causing us to miss out on other important things of life that are probably bigger than financial or social status? Isn’t the world’s understanding of success and what is valuable distorted? Luckily, we don’t have to let the world dictate what life should mean to us. In other terms, we have the power to define what happiness is, and what part of our lives is more valuable to us and our loved ones. We need to keep in mind that what we prioritise controls who we become. A life of gratitude is one way to have a balanced and easy-going life that can still be marked by success.
Gratitude helps us appreciate even the little or usual things in our lives. It helps us not take for granted even the ‘smallest’ of things and also helps us realise that in our everyday life we have so much that makes life beautiful other than that one dream we are chasing or, that one thing we think we cannot live without. As we get so immersed in our big dreams or goals, we tend to forget everything else. The goal is to live big, make huge achievements, and everything else that does not seem to be as big as our dreams is given little to no attention. We forget, little things combined create something big or that they might be that one link we need to experience true happiness. This is what a renowned author said about her experience with a life of gratitude;
“The results that came from my day of living from gratitude were astounding. It was one of the most powerful days of my life.
All-day long I kept meeting the nicest, greatest people everywhere I went. My income for that day jumped up to roughly three times what it normally was, without me having to lift a finger to make it happen. I kept noticing awesome opportunities, tools, and resources that would help me grow my business or improve some aspect of my life. Some of these things had been right under my nose all along, but I'd never noticed them before.
Never in my life can I remember feeling so humbled, so blessed, so RICH. Everything around me became SACRED in ways that I can't even describe.
Struggle, strain, anxiety, frustration, fear, anger . . . they all just faded away. Everything I saw and experienced was uplifting, inspiring, and beneficial. My life was transformed that day, into something that I never dreamed would be possible. I'd thought my life was good before that - but my new attitude of gratitude took it to a whole new level of goodness.”
These are some of the many ways gratitude can impact one’s life. Adopting gratitude as a lifestyle can make life more meaningful and richer. Here is how you can do it;
- Think and breathe gratitude – be grateful for every gift and beautiful experience and, learn to say thank you to people genuinely. Practice noticing the positive things in your life and counting your blessings. The more you show appreciation to people and value even the smallest things they do for you, the more you see the beauty of life. It can also shift the focus from experiences that make you unhappy.
- Be positive and look beyond your circumstances – try to think of good things that can result from unfavourable situations. Everything happens for a reason and there is always something to learn and sometimes opportunities arise from seemingly bad situations. This keeps us grateful for everything we are and have and sometimes, things that we go through. Dwelling on negatives can make you feel helpless or like you are the most unfortunate person in the world which takes away your energy and determination. A grateful attitude turns bad things into good things.
- Do not compare your life to the life of others – you should get used to the idea that people are different. It is when we start over-admiring other people's lives that we start to feel uncomfortable and unsatisfied with ours. Feelings of being inferior and losing appreciation of what we are and have followed.
- Set realistic goals, take it one step at a time, and be easy on yourself – Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. We put ourselves under pressure to achieve dreams and feel like failures when things don’t go as planned. We focus on our big dreams and forget to appreciate the small things. It is good to dream big, but it can be devastating when the dream becomes the only thing that we can think of.
- Constantly remind yourself of the good things you have or have experienced – this reminds you of what’s important. We set our hearts and minds on something bigger that we begin to feel the insignificance of what we possess. We begin to feel we would be happier if we had what we dream of, but, in reality, there will always be something bigger in our lives. We will always want more. Remember how the 'little' things or what you possess was once something you thought would make you feel complete.