Gratitude is one of the many stepping stones on the road to happiness. It is one of those virtues, that if you cultivate today, it will stay with you for the rest of your life. Gratitude is not just about being grateful for what you have, it is in fact about being able to appreciate the good in life and being able to turn around the bad so that it doesn't dampen your spirits.
Gratitude as a virtue can act as a shield if you let it, and it will protect you from all the bad in the world because once it is a part of who you are, no matter how much someone or something tries to upset you, you will be able to put it into perspective and lead a happy life without wallowing.
Here are some examples of how gratitude can help you and those around you-
If you've had a bad day at work and now you're forced to sit in a grey, cold conference room to attend some meeting. You can immediately start looking for something good in there, like the view outside the room, or lovely colleagues. This thank you that you send out will return to you by making you feel warm and happy.
Even a simple thank you can work wonders. If you're going shopping to some market and a vendor hands out a bag of fruits to you. Stop for a second and thank him/her like you really mean it. See how that smile will infectiously spread on their face too. You didn't even have to do anything big. A simple thanks will now have a ripple effect for the rest of the day.
Compliment someone on something. It doesn't matter whether the compliment is big or small; what matters is whether you really mean it. It is important to understand that if we really mean the things we say or do, our behaviour will communicate that message to the people around us. That compliment you make might earn you a compliment in return, get you a new friend, or just give you the joy of making someone's day special.
So how can you cultivate the practice of gratitude in your life?
Gratitude journal- studies suggest that if you write things down, the effect goes deeper than skin. Note down about five things you are grateful for, every day and see how much positivity that creates.
Write a letter- if someone has done something good for you, even if it was a very long time ago, write them a letter thanking them for whatever it is that they did and how much it is appreciated by you. This might open doors to new rekindled friendship for you.
Learn from your mistakes- When faced with a bad situation, ask yourself what you can do about it. What it is that you can learn from what happened and ensure it doesn't happen again.
Smile- here is one of the simplest solutions. When you answer a call, smile. It will reflect in your voice and the other person might enjoy talking to you.
Gratitude is very important if you want to lead a peaceful and happy life.