People who achieve true Gratitude reap benefits. Satisfied that they are blessed with more than they need, grateful people are more consistently happy, and generally require less resource and effort to maintain happiness.
Not Everyone is alike to a pea though. Beyond a certain level required to manage interdependence, in Reality, practicing Gratitude still remains a personal choice.
The How-To’s of Gratitude
(through Clarifications of Common Misconceptions )
Misconception 1: I have No reason to be Grateful
Actual: There are many things we take for granted: many already won the lottery! Food, water, shelter etc and the chance to grow. We can be mostly happy if we count our blessings. Surplus, improving and giving back is a bonus!
Other reasons for Gratitude are practical. The grateful spend and risk less for the same level of happiness. They have daily sources of happiness, and are able to focus on the important etc. Further clarifications below.
Misconception 2. Boredom – Grateful people lead boring monotonous lives
Actual: Gratitude endows a zest for life. Grateful people appreciate the great beauty and opportunity present that others are too busy, fearful, anxious, angry or sad etc to notice. Life is ever-changing and brings new beauty and lessons every day. New friends, old friends, changing seasons, bustle or quiet, daily encounters with nature etc), a myriad of constant change.
Essentially, grateful people do not lead boring lives. They are just more appreciative:
a. they get more for less. Less spending and risk for more enjoyment, and
b. the beauty that they experience is within easy reach, whereas for others, beauty is more fleeting.
Misconception 3. Gratitude is a Feeling – Either, I feel it or I do not.
Actual: Granted, Gratitude is a feeling, but daily Gratitude is not just the “tactless” extension of the emotional. Like a baby learning to walk, we need to develop a degree of understanding, “strength and dexterity” to unlock daily Gratitude.
Understanding. Deeper understanding (of things we take for granted) brings greater appreciation. Deeper understanding (of how Gratitude works) helps maintain gratefulness, and avoids excessive negative emotions that overwhelm reasonable Gratitude and happiness.
Strength and Dexterity. Practice makes perfect. The longer we stay grateful, the easier daily Gratitude will be.
Some actions we can take:
a. Taking time to appreciate our blessings is a way to help us enjoy and engage with the beautiful and important. Spending and appreciating happy time with family, friends and things we love etc. Writing and re-reading Gratitude journals can also help some remind themselves of the beautiful and important..
b. Ignoring the irrelevant (the unpleasant but transient; excessive wants) keeps external poison and stink from becoming our own.
c. Humour, learning from the experiences of others, finding inspiration, avoiding (emotional) situations like being tired and late in the morning due to late nights etc are just some of a multitude of ways to develop Gratitude and emotional balance.
Hope the clarifications are useful! Thanks for reading and/or sharing.
P.S.: Misconceptions 4 & 5 in a future post –
Image Credits: Gustavo Devito, Diego Torres, Camdiluv,