Gratitude Is The Secret Of Happiness | 5 Ways In Which Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier #MindfulMonday #AtoZChallenge

ratitude Is The Secret Of Happiness | 5 Ways In Which Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier

The root of our unhappiness lies in the fact that human beings, as a general rule, are inclined towards hedonistic adaption. Seeking pleasure, by itself, is not so bad. But getting used to it and taking it for granted, feeling a sense of "entitlement" towards it, that's a perfect recipe for disappointments, frustrations and unhappiness.

Most of us keep waiting for something big to happen in our lives, so that we could take out our fine china and open that bottle of expensive wine to celebrate. But that gives us so few opportunities to celebrate, doesn't it?

If we only focus on the "big" things in life, we'll spend most of our life being unhappy.

Gratitude Is The Secret Of Happiness | 5 Ways In Which Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier

The last decade of my life has been tough. There were a lot of setbacks, harassment and illnesses, and hardly any of the so-called "big" things that I could celebrate. (Except for my sister's wedding, my move to Jaipur, and opening my store perhaps, and even these were lined with so many little frustrations!)

That's when I learnt to appreciate the "little" blessings in my life. Most of all, my own body. (Which is probably the one thing that is taken most "for-granted" and abused!)

I don't want to start a list here of all the things I learnt to be grateful for... (maybe some other time, in some other post) but I do want to share what I realized about the importance of gratitude in staying happy.

5 Ways In Which Practicing Gratitude Leads To Happiness


  1. Gratitude cures our hedonistic discontentment.


    I first noticed this tendency when I used to play FarmVille on Facebook.

    We all had become so addicted to getting ALL the new stuff released in the game, regardless of whether we had any use for them or not! We'd become hoarders! And we hardly spent any time enjoying the things we'd already won in the game, because we would immediately start trying to get the "next" thing!
    Our happiness, on achieving something new, is so short lived! The more we get, the more we want! And the more dissatisfied we become with what we have! Because most of what we have is just occupying space in our life, without adding any real meaning to it.
    It is like a madness!

    Practicing gratitude for all our little achievements puts a stop to this insatiable insanity. It removes the meaningless clutter from our life and helps SIMPLIFY it.

    It prevents us from taking the good for granted, and helps us remain detached from the positive circumstances in our life.

    "This too shall pass." So enjoy it while it lasts, but don't feel entitled to it.

  2. Gratitude helps us sail through tough times.


    This is actually just the converse of the above point.

    Gratitude keeps us from getting attached to the positivity in our life. In the same way, it also helps us maintain an emotional distance from our rough times, because we realize that even they too will pass!
    Good times, bad times... they're BOTH merely passing through our life. We don't identify with either. We're not "entitled" to either.
    Practicing gratefulness helps us remember that.

    Consequently, it reduces the intensity of our suffering during stressful and traumatic times, by allowing us to DISREGARD the negative circumstances.

    And it trains us to focus on the silver lining even in times of darkness.

  3. Gratitude raises our self esteem.


    We are usually conditioned to focus on our shortcomings and failures... all the things that we DON'T have in life.

    I can't do this!
    I'm so bad at this!
    I don't have this!


    This takes a huge toll on our OPTIMISM quotient.

    Making a conscious effort to remain grateful shifts our focus to our virtues, accomplishments, and all that we DO have in life.

    I am awesome at this!
    I did that!
    I have this, this, and this!
    I have soooo much!

    How can we suffer from self-worth issues and pessimism, when we KNOW, for a fact, that we are living in SO MUCH abundance?

  4. Gratitude improves our interpersonal relationships.


    If we were to make a list of the most "taken-for-granted" items in our life, our family and friends (people who love us and are always there for us) will probably take second place (after our own body). They're the ones who are most exploited and unappreciated!

    All of us like being appreciated. Yet, all of us are so miserly when it comes to appreciating others.
    If WE feel so happy when someone sincerely thanks us for something, doesn't it then follow that OTHERS will also feel equally happy on receiving a sincere word of appreciation from us?
    It is basic human nature, isn't it?

    We like being with people who appreciate us. We tend to do MORE for the people who appreciate us.

    Remembering to appreciate the people in our life, for whatever value they add in our life, helps us treat them with LOVE and kindness. It also allows us to FORGIVE them easily for any mistakes.

  5. Gratitude attracts more of things to be grateful for.


    This follows logically from the previous point.

    If we express our sincere gratitude to the people in our life who go out of their way to brighten up our day, they automatically do more for us. If we express our gratitude for that as well, they do even more.

    Thus forms a cycle that feeds and strengthens itself.

    This works not just with people, but with the entire Universe. This is the "Law of Abundance".
    Our THOUGHTS create our destiny. And practicing gratitude is one "mental trigger" that can instantly change our state of mind from negative to positive.

ratitude Is The Secret Of Happiness | 5 Ways In Which Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier
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I know from personal experience that it is almost impossible to remain thankful when nothing seems to be working in your life, when whatever you do goes wrong. But, I also know (again, from personal experience) that it is even more important to stay grateful during such times.
Gratitude is not just a word. It is a way of living, acquired through conscious diligent practice and mindfulness.
Being thankful for the little things.

  • The food on our plate and all those random strangers who've worked to get it there.
  • Our family and friends.
  • Our sometimes shitty jobs that still help us make ends meet.
  • Our newspaper vendor, who gets up at such ungodly hour in the morning, just to ensure that we get our daily dose of news with our morning tea.
  • The guards in our building, who open the gate for us so that we don't have to get out of our car.
If we start thinking about it, the list will be endless. We'd end up saying "Thanks" at least 10,000 times a day!
How can we remain unhappy if we have so much to be thankful for?

Do you practice gratitude as a part of your daily life?
What changes did you notice in your life since you consciously started being grateful?
What changes did you notice in yourself?
In your relationships?

This is my seventh post for A to Z 2019.

I have attempted this challenge twice before, and published one kindle ebook out of it. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

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Shilpa Gupte said...

It's usually the difficult times in our Life that teach us how important it is for us to be grateful for all we have--the good and also the bad. It's last year when I too realised I had to stop waiting for happiness and start being grateful for all that I had and also for all that I didn't. For that's going to be the secret to my happiness!

A Hundred Quills said...

I so so agree with you. Around Christmas I wrote something siMilar. Resonates so much with that. You could read it here
https://soniadogra.com/2018/12/28/the-wishlist/

Andrea said...

Gratitude is the most important approach that truly changed my life. I used to focus on what I didn't have compared to others but introducing a daily gratitude journal changed that. I realised there are a lot of things in my life I can be thankful for, and it's a powerful thing! Thank you for choosing this topic for the letter G.

PS: I can only comment if I sign in to my Google account. There are a lot of us who don't use it for blogging, maybe you can turn on the option to comment with name and URL?

Dawna said...

Such a GREAT reminder! I don't allow myself to wallow in the negative, but *consciously* focusing on gratitude is something I know I don't practice as often as is good for me. :-) Great post! Dropping by from A to Z. <3

https://www.seraphsquill.com

Shilpa Garg said...

I have always found that gratitude is the best attitude and when I remind myself that I have so much to be thankful for, I feel better, more humbled and have a more positive outlook on life. So yes, gratitude is the secret of happiness.

KISLAYA GOPAL said...

Hi Chicky,
It is very true. Your pointers need to be kept constantly in our minds. Even I feel low and only way to bounce back is to be grateful for all the blessings surrounding me. You are right - seeking pleasure is not bad, but addiction is and that leads to more dis-satisfaction!
I completely agree and I try to follow the path of gratitude! Thanks for a well thought out post.
You can read my G post here - https://evergreenleaf.blogspot.com/2019/04/g-grow-up-atozchallenge.html

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