Gratitude | What Is It?
I am sure not many would be unaware of gratitude and what it means. To the uninitiated, ***gratitude simply means being in a state of thankfulness.*** Now, not many of us practice it, and an even lesser percent know the benefits of practicing it. As such, knowing the definition is all that is left with us.
Gratitude has a larger bearing on our life and how we go about it. For a good part of my life, I belonged to the category of people who didn’t understand the need to practice gratitude nor the benefits it had on us. All that I thought was, if I said thank you to someone, then I had practiced gratitude. Make no mistake. There is a difference.
The difference is in the feeling. How many of you go to the market, buy something, and say thank you to the shop owner after paying for it. There would be quite a lot, I am sure. Now, how many of you are actually feeling thankful? Not many, right? Why? Because most of us feel entitled to get the things that we pay for. So, the thank you remains a lip service more than a word of meaning.
Now, let’s take another example. COVID is raging, some of the essential supplies are facing a shortage. Your son or daughter loves that thing which is in short supply. You go to the market, you have the money but aren’t sure if the shopkeeper would have that one particular item. You ask him/her, and they have it. You are already feeling lucky, and shop keeper hands you the item and says that he kept it just for you. And now, you say thank you. Tell me this, would you mean it? Chances are, you would.
See the difference between the first thank you and the second one? There is a world of difference when thank you is just another word against thank you is the only word with feelings. ***And this thankful feeling filled word is what gratitude is all about.***
Gratitude | With Feelings
We saw the difference between the real feeling of gratitude as against gratitude as a word that is added to finish your sentence. But what about the practice of gratitude. I don’t have to tell you this, but the “thank-you” with feelings are themselves scarce in this world, and to hope for gratitude as a practice would be asking too much. Wouldn’t you agree?
Unless we are forced, we aren’t ready to be grateful. Most of our lives go with this sense of entitlement which disallows us to be grateful. Think about it, your hands, legs, health (more so with COVID around), your job, income, abilities, and more are just taken for granted. And yet there are many more people out there, hoping to have just these things that you have. Can you see that? They are not even asking for more but just the things that you have right now.
But there are health benefits, wealth benefits, and more for being grateful. ***A grateful life constantly borders on miracles, and these can lead to unseen and unexpected awesome turns in our lives.*** Read that again.
You don’t have to look far at any gurus or life coaches. Go back to your own life. Go back to the last time when you were truly grateful for something in your life. Do you remember, most of the day going well? Did you find more reasons to be grateful? I am sure that it would be the case. When you are grateful more reasons to be grateful follows, and when that starts piling up, miracles are the next steps.
And look at the health benefits. A cheerful heart reduces all stress-related health issues. When you live life believing only the right thing is happening to you, you are free of stress. You give into freedom, and you live life abundantly. And that feeling of abundance is what also attracts wealth into your life. I will touch upon the wealth part in another article. For now, let’s just look at gratitude and its impact on our life.
But that’s not all. When you are in a grateful mood, you change others around you too. It is not too difficult to see. When you say thank you to someone with feelings, that person’s mood is elevated too. In fact, just feeling grateful for another person elevates him/her. That’s basically about how we are connected and not separate, which we will not delve into for now. You would know this feeling of mood transfer. Just go back to the time when you weren’t feeling particularly well, and someone had a word of thanks or praise for you. What happened to you? Didn’t you feel good instantly? That’s the same thing that happens with people who practice gratitude. They spread cheer and improve the lives of people around them. Imagine the whole world doing this?
So, in a nutshell, gratitude impacts our lives, health, wealth, and even the people around us. There are more reasons to be in gratitude than otherwise.
Feeling Gratitude | At Not So Good Times
Questions around gratitude at the not-so-right times is always on our mind. In fact, we feel it is incorrect or even a sin to be feeling good when things are going bad around this. But this is a catch-22 situation. What do I mean?
Well, it is our lack of gratitude that brings us to the not-so-happy moments in the first place. When we are in the middle of such moments, it just attracts more similar experiences until it spirals out of control. And then we sit and rue the moment. But there is hope. We can change the situation.
Even in the midst of the unhappy moments, think of what you can be grateful for. This would be absurd for some but think of it the other way. In the middle of being happy, do you not think of what could go wrong? Now, if I ask you why would you indulge in an unhappy thought in the middle of good thought, you would say, oh, but that’s about assessing the risk. So, it might be. But didn’t you find a way to insert an opposing thought to a happy moment? If yes, then that is all that you have to do with the unhappy moment too.
And the happy thought in an unhappy moment is the feeling of gratefulness. Think about our current situation. COVID and lockdown, and yet some are doing well, some are growing, there are those in the pink of health, and there are many blessed with many things. It all boils down to being grateful. I am sure, even in adversity, there is something to be grateful for. Call it assessing the risk, if you will, but insert that feeling of gratitude. It goes a long way to improve your outlook at that moment and your whole life in a short time. How could that be bad?
So, find ways to be thankful at all times. That habit alone will change your life to one of happiness and joy!
Parting Thoughts | Gratitude
Being grateful is a habit when formed, that transforms our whole being. Be thankful for anything and everything you have. You will notice that you are consciously looking at your blessings more than anything else. Not only that, but you will also realize that your life is full of blessings and less of everything else.
As you keep on piling your blessings, more will flow and will continue to flow and overflow. Your life would be one of happiness, joy, and of most impact for everyone around.
Remember, the shift from nothingness to awesomeness is quite quick! 😊
**Image Courtesy:** StuartMiles1 at Freedigitalphotos.net | OpenClipart-Vectors at Pixabay | Activedia at Pixabay
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