Are you truly grateful for the good things in your life—or do you take them for granted? Gratitude forces us to pay attention to the good things in life we would otherwise take for granted. Take a moment to write down what you are grateful for.
Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude has written a book on Why Gratitude Works. What is fantastic about this book is that it’s backed up with a decade of scientific research. Emmons is a strong advocate of practicing gratitude during hard times and in face of demoralization. “In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope. In other words, gratitude can help us cope with hard times,” says Emmons.
Taking things for granted is a problem we all face.
Focusing on what is good and connecting with the gifts and blessings that are many, helps us with keeping the right perspective. When the world seems to shutting down on us, making even a one-liner for something to be grateful for can make a reality shift. But what it really means to be grateful?
Gratitude presupposes the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for good that is present or offered to us. Gratitude rests on the idea of blessing. If we look at all the good as blessings, we should not be taking things for granted anymore. Blessings are those people and things in life that we are benefiting from emotionally, spiritually, physically. Anything that contributes to our wellbeing and personal growth is a reason to be grateful for.
Once we understand that life does not owe us a living, every kind word we receive means that is given to us freely by those who are offering us the gifts of life. Are you counting the blessings for what you have in your life?
Choose gratitude: difference between felling grateful and being grateful.
Emmons makes an important distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful. That is actually an important conceptual clarification. Feelings come and go and they actually have very little to do with our decision making. It is not easy to will ourselves to feel positive when we are going through tough times. However, being grateful, Emmons suggests, is an act of a free choice and is determined by the attitude we take against the challenges we face.
Do you reflect on the worst times in your life to help you realize how fortunate you are right now? Remind yourself how blessed you are for the opportunities and people you have encountered in life.
Call upon gratitude at times of trails and temptation
Being grateful for what we have may be difficult in the society that always strives for more. Mindless approach to success, money and relationships can open up the doors for all sorts of temptations. Having a strong reference system of what we are grateful and always feeling blessed for will keep us at bay during the times of trails and temptation. We have to appreciate family and friends reminding ourselves that everyone is here by their own choice. If someone has chosen to benefit your experience in life, that itself is an act of generosity to be thankful for.
Start a gratitude journal
Something magical happens when we pen down our thoughts. Getting things out on a piece of paper has a healing effect and it practices our focus on positive aspects of our lives. Writing down what you are grateful for reinforces a stronger commitment to appreciation.
There is really no one single way of recording our daily thanks. Some like to start the day with making a short list of blessings they are grateful for, and some prefer to end the day in communing with the positive feelings a daily gratitude incites.
Do not wait to appreciate the gifts of life after you lose them.
People do not lose in life the blessings they actively appreciate. Make a list of those individuals in your life to whom you would like to outflow love and appreciation. Gratitude can take the form of words, it can be a gift, a letter , or any creative talent you want to share with someone you feel so appreciative for. The more grateful you are, the more you have to be grateful for. Love, honor and give thanks to those who are kind and loving to you.
Are you truly grateful for the good things in your life—or do you take them for granted? What are you grateful for? Share with us your experience!