The Art of Gratitude | OneLife

The Art of Gratitude

Last week we wrote about the Art of Happiness and it was so well received that we thought there might be some value in exploring a series of concepts or ideas that are all linked to perfecting the Art of Happiness. This week we explore the Art of Gratitude.

What is gratitude? Being grateful means being thankful, counting your blessings, appreciating even the little things, and acknowledging everything that you receive. Practicing gratitude means learning to live your life as if everything that happens is a blessing and that even obstacles or challenges are an opportunity for growth. Gratitude is being consciously aware of how much you have to be thankful for. This shift in awareness changes your focus from what you don’t have (focus on lack) to the richness that is already present. Research has shown that those who give thanks or practice gratitude experience positive life changes as a result. So how do we practice Gratitude?

See each day as a gift
See every day as a gift and open yourself to the many blessings life has to offer. As humans we have a tendency to take things for granted. There is a popular gratitude process where you imagine if you were to lose some of the things in your life that you may currently take for granted, for example, your good health, your home, your partner, your job, your sight or your ability to walk. Now imagine for a moment that you were given each one of these things back, one by one, can you feel how grateful you would be? That feeling you experience during that process is the level of appreciation we could be feeling each and every day for the many great people and things we have in our lives.

Celebrate the little victories
Don’t wait for the ultimate goal to be achieved to celebrate. Yes, it is great to have big dreams and important long-term goals like getting a promotion, launching a business, becoming debt free or having a baby. But do not underestimate the power of the little goals that are achieved along the way. Be grateful for the smaller achievements and celebrate the little wins that inspire you to continue on your path towards your bigger goals!

See challenges as opportunities
Shift your mindset to gratitude to help you put challenges and obstacles into proper perspective. When life seems to be throwing you some curveballs, remember that every obstacle carries within it great lessons or opportunities for growth. When experiencing life’s hurdles ask yourself: “What’ am I able to learn from this?” “What gifts am I receiving?”, and “How can I grow?”

Start a Gratitude Journal
A great method to develop the practice of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. This simple daily ritual of writing a list of things you are grateful for, (quite literally counting your blessings every day) is such a powerful tool. You can do this first thing in the morning or before bed at night. Take a moment right now to think of at least 3 things you are grateful for.

Once you begin to shift your focus towards the things you are thankful for you will find yourself opening up to the beauty that lies in each and every moment. Every single day has treasure to discover if you are willing to look. Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want or ask for, but a constant state of thankfulness, the kind where you take time to appreciate the small stuff and where you constantly look for life’s beauty even during adversity. Today, start bringing gratitude into your experiences, don’t wait for someone or something to make you feel grateful. Choose Gratitude. Smile at your barista, thank a colleague for their great work or contribution, hug your children or partner a little extra today, or call a friend and tell them how blessed you feel to have them in your life. After all “The secret to having it all, is knowing you already do” – Unknown