Each of us has a lot to be grateful for. The mere fact that I am writing this and you are reading this means we are alive, we are blessed with the gift of sight, understanding and literacy and fortunately we also have the time and energy to pore over the contents of the blog. Do we really value these blessings or do we take them for granted. Do we focus only on the special things that we get out of the blue like winning a lottery or getting an unexpected bonus or promotion or topping an exam? Fact is that we have much to be grateful for. The little things we take for granted, the wonderful surprises that come our way and for the limited pain and hurt we occasionally endure. The bigger benefit of being grateful for however lies in the fact that practicing gratitude daily fills us with an overpowering sense of bliss, which comes because of the following:
Shift in perspective – For many of us, our natural tendency is to look at the negatives around us. This is partly to do with a primal instinct of self preservation from all dangers. However, over time this tendency to look at negatives has been so deeply ingrained in us, that we fail to notice the wonders around us. Apart from being the most intelligent of the species in nature, human beings are gifted with abundantly more blessings that will allow one the luxury of drawing in happiness. However, this is possible only when one shifts focus from negatives to positives. By taking in a dose of gratitude each morning, the blessings in life suddenly become more visible, more tangible and more available for each of us to enjoy. It is a drastic shift in perspective triggered by practicing gratitude each day.
Feeling of abundance – One weakness of the human race is the tendency to compare with other human beings; be it our wealth, out looks, our intelligence or what we perceive as social status. No sooner one starts comparing with others, there is an overwhelming feeling of deprivation, of lack of something, of a longing for what others have and the desire and craving for more. What we forget in the process is that we are taking for granted an abundance of blessings we are gifted with. Our abundance is in every sphere; good health for most of us, a loving family life, great friends, adequate or more food, clothing and shelter etc. It is only when one practices gratitude that we begin to consciously pay attention to the abundance each of us has.
Decrease of fear and anxiety – The greatest benefit of practicing gratitude is that with the shift in perspective and the feeling of abundance, there is an immediate decrease of fear and anxiety. We know that our blessings far outweigh our concerns, that life has much more to offer than pure material wealth and that tomorrow is another day that one needs to take in her/ his stride. Each morning becomes a wondrous expectation for the day that unfolds will bring with it plenty of surprises; most of which are pleasant but then a few challenges/ pain will also be part of the day. By viewing things in the correct perspective and knowing that we are amply blessed, practicing gratitude is an extraordinary way of living life in bliss.
- List out the three greatest blessings that you cherish.
- What was your greatest emotionally painful moment? How did you cope with it? What was good about that painful moment?
- Who are the three most important people in your life? The challenge is to restrict yourself to just 3 people. Have you told them how grateful you are for what they mean to you?
- As I was writing this blog, I received a Wattsapp forward which I thought was apt for sharing with the readers of this post. I am attaching it, as it is, in a Word Document file. There is an Arabic Translation or possibly it is the original source and I have retained it for those who would better connect with it. Click on this link to read it. 18-30 -08 Oct 18- Gratitude_Message_30_08 Oct 18
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