Always be grateful for everything you have, everyone you know and everything that you are
When we fail to show gratitude, we stand in the way of our happiness.
Nowadays, people lead such busy, hectic lives that they rarely stop to take a look around and see everything and everyone they have. The 21st century has robbed us of the ability to express gratitude for the small things as we all strive to be more: more wealthy, more successful, more beautiful, more famous – more than what we are. For some, this lack of gratitude extends further and affects the people around them as they begin to think their partner could be better or their children smarter. Simply put, lacking gratitude can ruin your life and hurt the ones around you.
Stephanie Reeds, a writer for The Power of Silence, explains that there are seven reasons why you should be grateful:
1. The present moment is the only one that is guaranteed
People tend to dismiss how precious the present moment is. Even if you are reading this as you are laying down on your couch, the moment which you currently have right now is a blessing. You do not have to be doing something spectacular or extraordinary in order to feel as though you have to be grateful. Being alive is enough reason. The moment that you have right now is the only one that matters. We sit at home, stressing over the past or anxiously worrying about the future when in reality, none of this matters. The only thing we have right now is the present moment in which we live and breathe.
2. You already have everything that you need
Always wanting more makes you fail to appreciate that what you already have is enough. In fact, in many cases, it is more than enough. If you are alive, have a roof over your head, food on the table, and your loved ones by your side, you have everything you need. Strive to acknowledge, appreciate, and be grateful for what and who you have in front of you today.
3. You are where you are today because of you.
When you begin to think of everything you have experienced and how you have overcome all the obstacles that have stood in your path, you will begin to feel an appreciation for yourself. While being grateful for everyone and everything around you is necessary, being grateful for yourself is also vital. You need to feel grateful for who you are and give yourself credit for being as strong as you are.
4. Gratitude allows you to forgive.
Forgiveness does not come easy to everyone. Many people hold grudges, focus on the negative, and refuse to forgive. Gratitude makes forgiveness so much easier. Reeds explains that ‘it enhances your empathy and releases you from your built-up aggression’. When you struggle to forgive someone, ask yourself why you are grateful for this person and when you look deep inside, you will find compassion and forgiveness in your soul.
5. Gratitude mends broken relationships and opens the door for new ones.
To reiterate, gratitude allows you to forgive. In doing so, you can fix what is broken, reconcile, and mend meaningful relationships or friendships. What is more, when you feel grateful for everything in your life, you become happier and more positive. Naturally, it is not surprising that when you feel this way, you exude energy which attracts people. Therefore, gratitude opens doors to new relationships and friendships.
6. ‘Gratitude helps you sleep at night.’
According to Reeds, gratitude helps you sleep at night, ‘both literally and figuratively’. Lacking gratitude can keep you awake at night, thinking about everything which you deem as not good enough: your job, your weight, your marriage, etc. In this case, if you find a way to be grateful, you will literally find it easier to sleep at night. Figuratively speaking, you can find inner peace and serenity by being grateful. When you are grateful for the present moment and you are free of expectations, you will feel happier and more at peace.
7. Gratitude is the one surefire way of promoting happiness.
Reeds writes that ‘being grateful is rewiring your brain and training your mind to see positivity in everyday life. It is seeing the good in every situation and choosing hope instead of despair. It is shifting your energy and attracting more of what you really want in life’. If you feel unhappy and dissatisfied with the life you live, try practicing gratitude instead of getting lost in a constant search for more.