“The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.” Robert Holden
We’ve all been let down. By people, situations, life. A failed relationship, an ugly career turn, a health problem, etc etc. Let’s face it, life can be tough and taxing at times and we face a plethora of daily challenges. Some days more, some days less but often enough we’re left feeling drained and overwhelmed by the complexities of life. At some point or the other, we’ve all questioned the justice system of the universe. Tossed our heads back in angst screaming why me??! Feels familiar? Of course it does. No one is exempt from life’s conundrum and you never know when its workings are going to sneak up on you. And I sure hope I never do. Would make living in the moment unimaginable. I hope i’m not sounding a tad pessimistic here. That’s far from my intention. I love life and all its splendour and am simply striving to steer your mind towards the practice of gratitude. I have come to realise that the greater your gratitude quotient, the higher your happiness quotient.
The art of gratitude is a tricky one. It’s especially tricky when you’re down in the dumps, or feeling a sense of despondency. It’s easy to thank the universe when everything is going as planned. You’re a rockstar at work, your relationship puts fairy tales to shame, everyone loves you and your house is made of cheese. Sure, gratitude will come easy then! But why practice gratitude when you want to pull your hair out and bury your head in the sand? ‘Why on earth should i feel grateful when my world is falling apart?!’ These are the words that constantly echo in our minds when things aren’t going well. The truth is, this is when gratitude works its magic.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~Melody Beattie
I have come to realise, through my own experiences that expressing gratitude brings about a positive shift in mindset. I know this may sound cheesy but honestly, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. The mind is a remarkable instrument and has abilities that most of us can’t come close to fathoming. But if you train it and nurture it, it can become your best friend and bring about some incredible transformations. When you’re going through a rough patch, use the power of gratitude to release some of those negative emotions that you may be feeling. After a negative experience, learnt to put things in perspective by remembering that ‘every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit” – Napoleon Hill.
Gratitude is not a luxury and it is not frivolous. It is a coping strategy and it works. When you offer gratitude, you’re also surrendering to your higher power. Acceptance of your current situation makes you feel empowered and a little less frustrated. When you remind yourself of how fortunate you are, the negative stress vibrations begin to lose their hold on you, and you tune into a brighter frequency. Your situation may not change, but your ability to cope does. Your obstacles may not vanish, but your dejection does. Gratitude changes the wallpaper of your mind. It energises positive thoughts and shifts your focus into a more harmonious realm. I have also acknowledged that reminding yourself of your good fortunes helps you express more compassion towards others. And believe it not, being thankful boosts your immune system and improves sleep!
They say it takes 30 days to form a habit and 3 days to break it. For some odd reason, the mind responds to destructive behaviour with more ease. That’s why it’s harder to shift towards balance and alignment. That’s also why you need to consistently practice the art of gratitude. The best technique you ask? Personally i like to acknowledge my blessings at night during meditation. It helps me sleep better and i wake up feeling more charged. Morning gratitude works just as well and if meditation isn’t up your alley then simply jotting down what you’re thankful for every day will work wonders.