Wisdom//

Want More Gratitude in Your Life? Embrace the Present

Let's make it easier to practice gratitude.

Courtesy of tomertu/Shutterstock
Courtesy of tomertu/Shutterstock

What does gratitude mean? It means to be thankful. This is one thing we often forget in the mad race to achieve our dreams.

As humans, we may often feel we can never have enough. We may desire something today, and when we finally achieve it, we will start desiring something else. This way, we keep on running after things without realizing how much we have in the present to enjoy.

Due to endless desires, people miss out on moments that are special and end up overlooking the blessings they have. They lose their chance to enjoy life. They lose their chance to be truly happy.

THE IMPORTANCE OF GRATITUDE

As self-help guru Melody Beattie said, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Gratitude is a powerful thing. It is a key to happiness. When we appreciate what we have in our life and are thankful for all of it, it shows we know who we are, what’s important to us, and what it is that makes each day worth living.

10 BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE

Gratitude is associated with benefits far beyond our imagination. Some research-backed benefits of gratitude are:

GRATITUDE ALLOWS YOU TO CHERISH YOUR PRESENT

When you appreciate something, you are letting go of your ego, which allows you to connect with your soul without any obstruction. Gratitude is the fullness of one’s heart. It helps your mind and heart understand your present state.

Constantly thinking of oneself as deprived can make it harder to feel happy. The day you appreciate your present is the day you will realize how better off you are, how much you have achieved, and how complete your life is in that very moment. You may feel a sense of elation, your heart may swell with happiness, and you may feel as if you are exactly where you should be. The feeling of contentment will come over you, and you will feel complete.

WHY IS FEELING GRATEFUL SO DIFFICULT?

Being grateful is so beneficial, and it is a worthy goal to strive for. It can make life so much better. But why is being grateful so difficult? What is stopping us?

The first and foremost reason for not feeling grateful is that we have stopped paying attention to what we have. We take things we have worked hard for in the past for granted in our present. We need to slow down and look around to realize where we currently stand.

Sometimes, being grateful brings you face-to-face with the reality of what was missing from your life in the past. This face-off can be uncomfortable. When you realize you have something in the present that you had longed for can overwhelm you with feelings of sadness from the past. This is another reason many people find being grateful difficult.

CULTIVATING GRATITUDE

What you need to do is stop. You need to focus on your present. You need to side-track yourself from the never-ending race to get one thing or another and focus on what your present holds for you.

When you look around, you will be amazed to see you have so many things that you have always wanted. Take a minute out of your day and be grateful for what you have.

Being thankful for what you have is important in order to feel content. Contentment comes when you are happy, and you cannot be happy without being thankful for what you have today. Happiness comes with gratitude, and with happiness comes more gratitude.

Therapy is one effective way to confront issues that may be obstructing gratitude in your life. Find a trained and empathic counselor in your area.

References:

  1. Giving thanks can make you happier. (n.d.). Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
  2. Morin, A. (2014, November 23). 7 Scientifically proven benefits of gratitude that will motivate you to give thanks year-round. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/#337eedfd183c
  3. Wong, J., & Brown, J. (2017, June 6). How gratitude changes you and your brain. Retrieved from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_changes_you_and_your_brain

Originally Published on GoodTherapy

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