When was the last time you showed gratitude to someone? Saying “thank you” to someone with a smile will surely connect your hearts. Gratitude gives us joy while removing anxiety and sadness. This happens because when we express gratitude our focus is shifted from what we lack to what we strive toward. Recent studies have shown that when someone expresses gratitude, they tend to be happier, sleep better and their overall energy is very positive. That’s why we know it as the “the pursuit of happiness.”
As in the words of Fred De Witt Van Amburgh, “Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves and spend without fear of bankruptcy.”
Practicing gratitude doesn’t always come easily. It is a habit that needs to be developed. Our brains are not naturally configured to show gratitude; however, this may not be true for everyone. You will find some people are more grateful than others.
Gratitude is not based on circumstances. It’s not about when the circumstances are good then you are grateful. You can take any circumstance, happy or sad, and you’ll see in one circumstance, gratefulness, and the other one, not; yet the circumstances are the same. So, it’s not about one’s circumstances.
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Here are five steps we can take to start to develop gratitude. Consider this as something to practice because by practicing this we will get better at it.
- Awareness: You must be aware of your surroundings and your environment. Look around yourself. You will be amazed by the beauty of the surroundings, and you’ll acknowledge it. You will also realize how much of it we are taking for granted.
- Write: You’ve heard of the idea of keeping a gratitude journal. You only need a normal notebook to write down a few things every day for which you are grateful.
- Identify the negativity: As human beings, we have the tendency of thinking negatively about everything. For example, while going to the office on a Monday you might think that it will be a crazy day and the boss will fire me. On reaching your office, you walk in and see beautiful flowers on your desk. Seeing the flowers, you now have a smile on your face. You have to look at the positive side of the situation.
- Practice: Practice is what makes everything perfect. Here we have to practice to express gratitude in every situation.
- Make a Vow: The final step is to make a vow. Initially, it will be a big challenge, but we must make a vow to not criticize anyone and not to gossip. For starters, you can begin with a 10-day challenge. On the completion of the challenge, you will be in the practice of seeing the positive in every situation and will be showing gratitude for your surroundings.
In our own way, one expression of gratitude at a time can make a better world.
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