How often do you take the time to reflect and focus on the things you are grateful for? I bet the answer is not often enough. Most of the time we are chasing something: a girl, a better job, a new flat and so on. I encourage you to work towards your dreams and goals. But, reaching (more) goals will only make you happy for a short time. Lasting happiness comes from being grateful. Know what it means to be grateful and you will know how to be happy!
For the Stoics, being grateful was part of what they called the art of living. One goal was happiness, regardless of external factors. To accomplish that they reflected on the positive things in their lives. Simply said, they practiced gratefulness for what they have.
How to be happy
Be Always Grateful
Few people are grateful by nature, in the stoic sense. They do it unconsciously. By making a conscious effort you can also be grateful.
How to do it:
Remind yourself of the positive things in your life
Appreciate all the good things
Appreciate all the bad things, for the opportunities they bring and the possibility to grow
Appreciate all the changes
Appreciate the people surrounding you, especially their good qualities
Say thank you
To get all benefits you need to make it a routine. There are several ways how you can do that.
Sit down, relax and close your eyes. Take at least 2 minutes to think about the things you are grateful for. The best times for a gratitude session are first thing in the morning or before you go to bed.
A Journal goes beyond a session by writing down what you are grateful for. An additional benefit is that you can go back and see what you have been grateful for. Such looks into the past can be humbling experiences.
This is probably the most effective exercise to be more grateful. As you may already know, meditation can be focused on a topic, such as gratefulness. Get into you normal meditation position. Begin with your normal meditation routine. Focus on all the things you are grateful for during your meditation session.
Besides happiness, gratefulness has other benefits that will increase the quality of life:
You will focus on what is important
You will develop greater resilience
You will attract positive people
You will attract positive things in general
You will turn bad things into good ones
I leave you with this poem about gratefulness you can recite while you meditate or reflect.
„Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.“
– Author Unknown ~
Call on Action:
Write down 5 small things in your life you are grateful for!