“If the only prayer you ever say in your life is ‘Thank you God’, that would suffice” – Meister Eckhart
I chose this particular topic because it is so close to my heart, and it is the one, which I believe, has led to the most profound transformation in my life. Since learning about what I call “the gratitude effect”, and making it a part of my daily routine, my life is progressing in a way I have never thought possible. Soon after implementing the process of giving thanks – and I mean really giving thanks, not just paying lip service – my life seems to move with ease and I am the happiest I have ever been. I feel I am on the path to seeing all my dreams come true, and it’s all down to having “an attitude of gratitude”.
So what is gratitude really? True gratitude is a quiet state of poise and inner peace and calm where you are truly thankful, you understand the divine order in the Universe, and most importantly, you wouldn’t want to change anything.
We have all heard the phrase “we are right where we are meant to be”, and we all believe it… when things are going great. People tend to be grateful when things are going their way, and the big thank you speech comes out “Oh wow! That is so great! Thank you!”
But when things are going just a little bit rocky, the gratitude becomes rocky as well, and the “thank you” speech is replaced by: “Why? Why did this happen to me?” “Why me?” or worse yet, you totally ignore any communication with the higher powers. This implies that you do not trust that there is a higher purpose. Nothing has happened to you to date that isn’t a gift or a blessing. I understand that it is difficult to be thankful for what may seem at first to be a negative experience, but there is always a positive result associated with that so called “negative event” if we were to take the time to look for it. There are neither mistakes nor coincidences in life. Every single thing that has happened to us is a part of our process and progress.
You may sometimes confuse gratitude with elation as such when you get a gift: “oh, this is wonderful, thank you!” But true gratitude has very little to do with those temporary moments of happiness and elation. It has more to do with a state of inner peace, and a deep, moving exchange between you and the Universe.
Gratitude helps us to become more accepting and satisfied with the things that we have and there are also health benefits associated with gratitude. Research has shown that gratitude brings us a more loving feeling as well as joy, enthusiasm and optimism, all of which promotes better health.
We feel happier and more connected.
Robert Emmons, author of “Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier”, points out that gratitude also reduces destructive impulses like greed, envy, resentment, bitterness and hostility and helps us to cope better with the stresses and strains of everyday life.
I live my life with an attitude of gratitude. At the end of the day, I recall everything that has happened to me from the start of the day to the end, whether it was good, bad or indifferent and give thanks. I have found another unexpected benefit; it’s a really good and fast way to fall asleep – possibly because you are ending the day on a positive note, or maybe because it calms an overactive mind.
So, try counting your blessings instead of sheep!!! I also include saying thanks in morning prayers, continuing where I left off the night before, as well as giving gratitude for a new day and the infinite possibilities that lie ahead.
Here are a few ways you can develop your attitude of gratitude:
• Pay attention to small things, it will help you to develop a much greater sense of appreciation and present moment awareness.
• At night reflect on what has happened to you during the course of the day and give thanks for everything.
• Keep a gratitude journal and write in it regularly.
• Think of the people that crossed your path and consider how each of them has contributed to your life.
So adopt an attitude of gratitude and sit back and watch the miracles happen!