Friday, 2 September 2016

Gratitude is the Best Attitude

We are often complaining about numerous things, no matter how trivial or crucial. We are always envious of what others have and we don’t. We always aspire to live someone else’s life, which from our perspective seems to be fuller and happier. However, what we forget is the fact that in order to be truly happy, we need to be first thankful for the things that we already have.

Gratitude simply means thankfulness, counting our blessings, noticing simple pleasures and acknowledging everything that we receive. It means learning to live our lives as if everything was a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis on how much we have been bestowed with. Sounds clich├ęd? Yes. But when you think about it, we do take most of the things in our lives for granted. Imagine for a moment one of those dreadful nights, when you just can’t fall asleep even after a tiresome day, and you have to get up early the next morning for a big presentation. Your alarm clock wishes good morning at the desired time and you stumble out of bed, take a quick shower, grab something to eat and head out only to fight the gruesome traffic on the road. It does sound as the beginning of a “terrible day” for most of the people. And I am no different.

However, only a few of us would recognize the gifts we are blessed with. A gift that presents us with an ability to determine our life. These are the people who acknowledge and live with an ‘attitude of gratitude’. For them, the situation could be worse. For instance, think of the man who doesn’t have a bed; leave alone a roof on his head. When he is awoken of the little sleep that he managed to get, it is only because of the cold rain droplets falling on his body. He too, stumbles on his feet, to begin the journey to work on his bare feet. His journey of survival, journey of sustaining yet another day.

The example aptly illustrates how much we have, to be grateful in our lives. Even in times, when it seems everything is falling apart, when we find ourselves encumbered with the veil of discontentment, even during such a time of hardship, we should pave our way forward with optimism and a feeling of gratitude for the other things that are constant in our lives. We should be thankful for our loving family, the amazing bunch of friends who are always available at our call, for the roof over our heads, for the meals that we consume and most importantly for the gift of life that we have been conferred with.

In fact, practicing gratitude can increase our happiness levels. Just as there’s a certain weight that feels natural to our body and which our body strives to maintain, our basic level of happiness is set at a pre-determined point. If something bad happens to us during the day, our happiness can drop momentarily, but then it returns to its natural set point. Likewise, if something good happens to us, our levels of happiness rises, and then returns once again to its set point. A practice of gratitude raises our ‘happiness set point’ so we remain at and maintain a higher level of happiness regardless of the external circumstances.

Once, we become oriented towards looking for things to be grateful for, we will find ourselves appreciating the simple pleasures that we previously took for granted. When we are in a good place emotionally, the good stuff will just flow to us. All in all, following this path, we have nothing to lose and contentment to gain. So let’s get out gratitude on!

Written by Chhavi Minhas
“A free spirit, dreamer and admirer of this puzzle called life”

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