It’s time to stop living our lives hoping that someday we will be happy. We deserve to feel the joy of our existence right here and right now.
But sometimes we forget just how many blessings we have in our lives.
It can be a useful exercise to take some time each morning and count ten things you’re grateful for. Feeling grateful is like adding salt to pineapple. It makes the fruit taste that much better.
Adding gratitude to our day makes our lives just that much better.
Learning to Feel Grateful
Feeling gratitude is the ability to see the positive in whatever situation you’re in. It’s not always easy.
But it’s good to get the long view perspective. Perhaps you didn’t get a promotion that you wanted at work. Be grateful that something better is coming.
When we’re able to feel grateful, we improve our energy and resilience when things go wrong. We’re able to end each day focusing on the positive things that happened, and not feel dragged down by the negative.
Boost Your Generosity
Gratitude also increases your generosity. You want to help others be more positive and move through their negative times.
Plus, feeling grateful improves our health. We tend to do more things to keep our bodies healthier like exercising and sleeping.
Finally, we’re able to better appreciate the non-material things in our life. We are happier because of increased emphasis on relationships with family, friends, and the community.
What’s the Difference Between Feeling Grateful and Being Grateful?
Sometimes we think we’re feeling grateful. But are we being grateful? And what’s the difference?
Feeling grateful is an acceptance of what is. Being grateful is the action of demonstrating this awareness and understanding.
Are you appreciative of things in your life but find it difficult to let someone do something for you? Do you have difficulties accepting little (or big) gifts from other people?
If so, you’re telling the Universe that you’re not really grateful.
It’s important to learn how to receive as well as to give. This completes the connection. To use an example, a lamp is nice. But unless the lamp is plugged in and turned on, you won’t get the benefit of the light.
I mentioned earlier about journaling ten things you’re grateful for every day. I think that’s important. I also think it’s important to act grateful.
Say Thank You
Tell people how much you appreciate them. And by people, I mean everyone. Tell your partner how much they mean to you.
And let your server in a restaurant know that you’re grateful they came in. You don’t have to come out and say it that way. But you can say “Thank you.” And if there was something they did that was above and beyond, you could let the manager know what a great job they did.
You raise everyone’s happiness that way. Usually, managers only hear complaints. Imagine how happy they’ll be to hear praise?
I’ve made it a practice to ask for the manager after a meal and find something positive to comment on about my server and experience. Only once did the person treat me with mistrust. But that was on her and not me.
I have to say, though, that the words need to be authentic and appropriate. You want your genuine appreciation to come through.
Easy Ways to Find Your Inner Bliss
Sometimes it’s just a little thing that we can do that helps us connect to the beauty of the world. You will want to spend time thinking about ways that are meaningful to you, and that you’ll be able to easily do.
Engage In a Meaningful Ritual
I have a stone with “This too shall pass” engraved on it. My personal ritual is to hold the stone and repeat the words and feel grateful that all of my problems are temporary.
I know some people who thank every coin they find because they want the Universe to know that they appreciate it. They’ll personally thank the coin, or even kiss it and be grateful that they have money.
The belief is that if you’re grateful for the little coins, the Universe will provide the large cheques. And the ritual is to physically thank each coin you find.
T. Harv Eker has a story that demonstrates this. He says if you bring a child into an ice cream store, they’re going to want three scoops. And what happens when you walk outside? The ice cream falls off.
So if you bring that child into the ice cream store again, will you buy them another triple scoop? Of course not.
So we, as the children, need to show the Universe not only that we’re grateful but that we can manage what we’re given. Then we will receive more.
Express Your Gratitude
I already mentioned thanking people, and genuinely pointing out what they did well. And thanking the Universe when good things happen.
But there are also other ways to show your joy. You could do a random act of kindness like paying for the person behind you. Or you could send flowers to a friend.
You can express gratitude for your body by exercising or meditating.
And this may seem a bit unusual, but another good way to express your gratitude is by watching your words. Speak only kindness when you can. Stay away from gossip and other negativity. Fill the world with your love and gratitude instead.
Reflect Upon Your Gifts
You may want to ask some trusted friends what they admire and appreciate about you. Sometimes we don’t realise our own special gifts.
And it’s time you really honoured them.
Sometimes, I think we worry about being “stuck up.” Well, we shouldn’t. It’s time to truly honour your wonderful qualities and find ways to express them more fully.
If you really want to flex your gratitude muscle, find an area in your life that isn’t going as well as you’d like. Commonly, we’re unhappy with our finances, our health, our love life, and our work life.
To really ignite your life, find ten things you’re grateful for about the area where you’re frustrated.
If you’re frustrated about your weight, feel grateful that you can walk. Feel grateful that you were able to wake up this morning. Feel grateful that your body is as healthy as it is right now.
In your love life, be grateful that you have love to give. Be grateful for your close friends and family members who lift you up.
Another technique to boost your gratitude muscle is to take something like a colour and find reasons why you’re grateful for that.
You may be grateful for the colour orange because it’s the colour of the sun which warms you up, and ensures that plants grow. There are many other abstract ideas that you could use.
If you find yourself having a rough day, pull out your gratitude journal and read it until you’re feeling more peaceful. It’s an easy way to reconnect with your inner bliss.
Now if something really bad happens and you find yourself stuck, you’ll need to flex that gratitude muscle that you’ve been working on.
My Final Thoughts
Focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t have. And feel blessed to have it.
At first, that little voice in your brain may go “Yeah, right!” or “Yeah, but….” and it’s going to be up to you to learn to thank that voice and then let go immediately of the negativity.
You will need to train your brain to enjoy that which is and block out all the negative emotions. Let your focus be on the positive. It’s like getting the weeds out of your garden so the flowers can thrive.
As we become happier, we naturally gravitate to people, places, situations, and things that make us happier. It becomes a beautiful self-fulfilling prophecy.