Being Grateful is more than Just Saying Thank you

I have so much to give and so much to share,
A thousand reasons to cherish a million reasons to smile,
Let me thank the universe for being so kind.

Wow! One more day to be grateful for, a great thought to start your day with.
How can I not be thankful for what I have got without asking? Maybe we don’t realize that our reality can be someone else’s dream. A lot of people are deprived of the facilities that are easily available to us. Gratefulness fills the void we create within us by constantly complaining about our situations.
The word gratitude holds immense power, it can free us from our complaints, our selfish desires, our me-centric thoughts, and actions. It is a conscious effort to count one’s blessings; a quality of noticing the goodness in life.

Why is being grateful important?
A sense of gratitude always keeps us grounded and content. A contented heart will see uncountable reasons to smile and to be happy. Grateful people don’t restrain themselves from sharing their privileges with others.
When we are thankful for all that we have in life and shorten the list of our desires and complaints, our lives become satisfying and we become more compassionate towards ourselves and others.

Here are some proven benefits of practicing gratitude:

  • Improves physical health: According to a 2012 study published in personality and Individual differences, people who practice gratitude experience lesser physical issues.
  • Improves Psychological Health: Practicing gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression- Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher.
  • Better sleep quality: Writing a journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being.
  • Rise in self-esteem: people who practice gratitude are more content and don’t easily fall into the trap of social comparison

How to practice gratitude?
1. Make a list of all the reasons for your smile and jot them down. Take out time to read those frequently.
2. Never miss an opportunity to thank those people, you are grateful. You can say it verbally or write a thank you letter. But, as they say, action speaks louder than words; gratitude is best expressed when we go beyond our comfort and put a great effort to show how much we are grateful. 
3. It is advised to write a gratitude note before you go to sleep, but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Why assign a particular time to be grateful, the universe will accept your thank you anytime. Whenever you smile, be thankful for the reason behind it.
4. We all have a habit of looking at what’s lacking in our lives, which is important, else how would I fill the gap if I don’t see it. But, what is equally or even more important is to see all those blessings we have, that can be shared and cherished.

What Should I be grateful for?
There is not any universal gratitude list as it’s a subjective thing, here are some examples;

  • Thank your outer world
    1. Friends and family whose love and support are always there when needed.
    2. We have got a roof over our head
    3. We are born in a free country; we can enjoy all kinds of freedom
    4. We have healthy food to eat and clean water to drink
    5. Availability of high-class education
    6. Our safety is ensured
    7. 24/7 internet facility
    8. Benefits of services like Health care, transportation, entertainment, etc.
  • Thank your inner world
    1. When I get the opportunity to help others.
    2. For my ability to bring a smile to someone’s face
    3. For the power to forgive me and others
    4. For the compassionate heart that can pour unconditional love
    5. For the patience to listen and understand others.
    6. For the wisdom to understand life
    7. For the ability to perceive and respond. 
    8. For the strength to speak and stand by the truth.

Gratitude can shift us from the state of gatherers to givers. What seems meager becomes profound when seen through the lens of gratitude. Let’s be thankful.