I’ve spoken about gratitude before, and do so time and again. That’s because it’s the most underrated tool for change, and possible the most effective one. All the self help books I’ve read, and all speeches on positivity, often advocate gratitude. From my own practice of gratitude journaling, and learning to appreciate people, opportunities, situations and things with gratitude, I understand that there’s a reason this simple practice holds the potential to change your mind, and your life.
From keeping a gratitude journal and listing five things you’re grateful for every morning, to being thankful in your everyday life, for fresh air, good food, good people, or anything else that makes your life comfortable, gratitude changes you without even taking you through the pain staking process of change, or the self sabotage associated with it. Here are three changes that you are bound to see, when you practice gratitude journaling and appreciate things that you’d generally take for granted.
You become more patient: You may either concentrate on the annoying honks in a traffic jam, or choose to be grateful that you atleast have a mode of transport and can afford it. While you cannot be a saint all the time, keeping this attitude at most times, in most situations, will eventually equip you with more patience, and more understanding towards situations.
The more you’re grateful, the more you receive opportunities to be grateful for: Ever see a red car everywhere, after you just decided to buy one? Known as the frequency illusion, it’s what your brain does, when you think of something particular, and it works to selectively pick that out for you from a crowd of things. Gratitude works in the same way. When you’re appreciative of what you have, you receive more things to be appreciative for.
You learn to be more present: When you’re grateful, truly grateful, you find yourself being more present in the moment. To be able to be grateful for something, you first need to recognize it, which eventually pulls you in the moment you’re thankful for. You can’t really be thankful if you’re not paying attention, can you? Even if you choose to begin without paying much attention to the moment, your habit of gratitude will eventually make you focus on the moment you’re thankful for, making it a habit for you to be more present, more focused.
The list may go on, but these are the top three ways gratitude has changed me, and I know if you give it a try, they can change you too. In the words of Deepak Chopra “Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe”.