What are you grateful for? Stop, and think about this right now, just for a moment. Sometimes we can be so caught up in our affairs that we can forget to stop and think about everything in our lives that we are grateful for; all of the people, the places, the opportunity we have to learn and grow.
Gratitude is important. It increases our happiness, and also makes us more humble, and more appreciative. When people do things for us they know we will notice and be grateful for their efforts. We will be more enjoyable to be around because our outlook on life becomes grounded in a true sense of being grateful for all that life has given us.
Gratitude For The Simple Things
The first step to increasing our happiness with gratitude, is to learn to appreciate the little things in life. I mean, you start with the very basics. Be grateful that you have running drinking water available from a tap, a luxury that many people in the world cannot afford. Be thankful for every bite of food, and every grain of rice. Be even more grateful if this food happens to be combined into a myriad of delicious flavors.
Food, water, and shelter, our most basic needs, are often taken for granted. We think they are a given, and that they our entitlement. As a matter of fact many of us are very lucky to be able to say that we have a relatively stable life, and that our survival is taken care of.
This most basic gratitude, is the foundation for every other graceful thanks that we can give. If we have learnt to appreciate the smallest of necessitates, then we should have no problem showing gratitude for the rest of life; the many layers of human existence that have been piled on top of our survival mode. We should be grateful then, that we have the opportunity to even be thinking about gratitude; most species spend so much of their time concerned with survival that they are not able to even contemplate what it means to live a good life.
Gratitude Beyond Survival
With this foundation stone in place, it is possible to think about all of the other aspects of our life that we can be grateful for. If it helps to do so, then consider making a list, or simply give yourself time to reflect on life. List all of the necessities, all of the basics we talked about before. Then list everything else you can be grateful for in your life. Every luxury, every enjoyment, every person who we love, and who loves us in return.
These aspects of our life contribute to yet a deeper level of appreciation; we can diversify, be our own person, and carve our own path through life. Be grateful therefore that you have free-will, and can make choices. Many of us live in relative freedom; we have options for what we can do with our time, what career path to take, and what company we keep. Be grateful for all of the things that make you who you are.
Say Thanks To Others
As we become full of gratitude for our lives, and for ourselves, and for all of the basics and luxuries that we live with, we start to notice how important our loved ones really are, and just how grateful we are for them being in our life. Loved ones bring us joy, and laughter, and they are there for us in hard times. I have even been helped, both physically through favors, and emotionally through conversation, by complete strangers. Other people are an important part of our happiness, and it is about time we stopped to realize how grateful we are for everything they do for us, and simply for their presence, and their caring.
The more grateful we become of other people, the more we feel we want to give back. When we become aware of everything that other people do for us, it is only natural that we would want to provide them with equal reason to be grateful to us. People who are full of gratitude, for life and people, want to give back in any way they can, by being there for people, offering them help, and showing them how grateful they really are. Giving back to other people, and to the world, is one of the key components of happiness. Through our own gratitude we learn to be givers. We share our happiness, and in turn other people become full of gratitude too.