I want to preface this by saying; I do not know what happiness actually means. Sure there is a dictionary definition, but it means different things to different people. To me, happiness means inner peace and ability to think freely, clearly and without hindrance.
Expressing gratitude is a lost art in the world. Have we lost the ability to be grateful? Have we taken the simple things for granted? What if I told you that happiness is explicitly linked to gratitude? Would you believe me?
You go through your daily life, puttering around and living your life, continually taking everything for granted. I am equally as guilty, but I am trying to improve.
The more grateful you are, the happier you will feel. This is mostly because as you take things for granted, the less they mean to you. Even if these things play big roles in your life, they are overlooked.
Naturally, your brain slows down and chooses the simplest method to run your body. You start to overlook the simple and important things and live your life in a mediocre state.
“Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude.” – Wallace Wattles
These are three methods I use to take control of my brain and my happiness.
A) Be Grateful Every Morning
I try to begin everyday with ‘thank you.’ As soon as I wake up, I start by saying thank you. Thank you for another day, thank you for opening my eyes, and thank you for another breath.
There are a lot of things that can sweep you away in the night, so I am grateful. This sets the tone for the entire day. Rather than stumbling out of bed and letting the day take control of me, I choose to intentionally create the day with gratitude.
Each morning before you get out of bed, make it a habit to feel the feelings of gratitude in advance for the great day ahead, as though it is done.
B) “Be Grateful” List
On those days, where you are filled with negative feelings, thoughts, and unhappiness, being grateful helps. Sometimes, I look around and say, “Well I don’t have a health that I want. I don’t have the money I want. I don’t have the love that I want.”
Back up for second and focus on what you already have. It might be that you have the eyes to read this. It might be the clothes you have. It might be that you have the ability to come up with ideas and solutions. Sit and down and write all the things that you are grateful for.
It eases my brain and simplifies my life. I cut out all the negative thoughts and feelings and only think about the good in my life. It is impossible to bring more into your life if you are feeling ungrateful for the things you already have. Negative thoughts only breed more negative thoughts.
C) End Your Night with Grateful
When you lie in bed, reflect on your thoughts and actions of your day. Even on a terrible day, there is always something to be grateful for. I find that being grateful helps incredibly when I’ve had a bad day.
It lulls my body to sleep and prepares myself for another challenge the next day. I feel like being grateful has altered the way I perceive difficult situations.
Next time you encounter a difficult situation, stop and think. Forget the situation and say ‘thank you.’ Next time you encounter a crappy feeling, stop and think. Forget the feeling and say ‘thank you.’ Next time you encounter a negative thought, stop and think. Forget the thought and say ‘thank you.’
You will find momentary happiness and serenity. The more exercise gratitude, the longer this powerful impression will hold.