Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust
Sometimes there is a series of events that makes you very grateful with where you are in life. The past few months have been humbling for me and I am extremely thankful to have come so far in my life. Some, I have worked very hard for and I know I deserve. Others were a beautiful encounter that turned into a solid relationship for life.
Taking the time, and thinking to yourself about how lucky you are to have everything you have in your life is so important. Not only to calm the mind but to discourage negativity. There’s so much negativity coming from others in this world that we do not need to be creating it ourselves. Our own minds and bodies should be peaceful havens.
Of course this is easy to say but incredibly difficult to practice. Especially if you are suffering with any type of mental health condition. Experiencing gratitude can contribute to any treatment an individual is undergoing, however, as learning how to be grateful for our everyday lives will increase our ability to become truly happy.
There are so many things to be grateful for. The basics are the best place to start.
- Do you have a roof over your head, food to eat, a bed to sleep on?
- Do you not have to worry about rent, where your next paycheque is coming from, where you work?
- Do you have an education? A family and/or friends who love you? Are you in good health?
If you are lucky enough to have all of those things, or even some, you will be able to find solace in gratitude. Gratitude not only makes one happy in what one has, but it also gives one the ability to find happiness in smaller things. There is a toxic way of thinking that goes something like “Oh I’ll be happy if I lose 5kgs/get that promotion/go to the gym/get married/ have kids in the next 5 years/ make more money etc”. This still means that currently you are somewhat unsatisfied. If you can become completely whole and satisfied with your current life, working towards your goals will become fun, rather than something that weighs you down.
Thinking that you can’t let yourself be happy until a catalyst occurs to magically fix all of our problems is dangerous. The likelihood of every problem dissolving if you ‘fit into that dress’ is minuscule. It’s also very inward-thinking. Your friends will think of you in the same way whether you are rich or poor, think about if one of your friends said to you “I can’t be happy until I make more money”. What would you say to them? I’m sure it would be reassuring them about how their life is fine now, and listing all the things that are currently in their favour. In this vein, we must do the same to ourselves.
Sometimes, when practising gratefulness, it can come all in a wave. This is an amazing feeling. “Wow! How lucky am I?” – it can often happen when travelling, or after a very busy period of time, when you are sitting on your own quietly. Let the happiness blossom inside you for everything you have. Let gratefulness wash over you and
Resources around gratefulness are plenty, and documentaries on Netflix, books and ways of self expression, such as writing or drawing, are also good outlets for becoming more grateful.
Practising gratefulness on a daily basis can help you feel more calm, collected and can make it easier to arrange your thoughts. In this busy lifestyle of the modern era, take 5 minutes today to thank the universe.