“Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson
Not too long ago, you were a teenager. You probably found yourself rebelling easily, trying to control everything, with few things in life to be thankful for. However, as the months turned into years and the years into decades, you moved from one role in life to the next and started finding a bittersweet truth common to the human experience - many good things in life are taken for granted. In fact, you hardly realized the value of many things - until they were gone.
Science has shown that as people age, they become more thankful for the things that they have. Both happy experiences and regrets show that it is crucial to count your blessings in time.
But have you noticed that one of the many great things about thankfulness is its simplicity? This is not a complex technique or a subject to be mastered, no. Anyone can learn – and learn again - the art of thankfulness.
Here are four simple ways to learn the art of gratitude:
1. Every night, make a list of things that you felt grateful for.
Use a small notebook to note down, before bedtime, all the positive things that happened throughout the day. You will find this helpful on days when you feel down – just take your notebook, turn the pages, and you will find at least one reason to smile!
Of course, you can’t deny the existence of problems in life. But this habit lets you concentrate on the brighter side of life and avoid unnecessary thoughts that do not help you in any way.
2. Learn to thank people.
Thank people for their contributions; even small ones. Thank people you meet regularly (and mean it!) and those who have gone that extra mile in the past - just for you! Appreciate family, friends, and well-wishers who have been part of your journey; after all, they made life beautiful for you in different ways.
3. Tell yourself that you've done great.
When was the last time you actually took time to appreciate yourself? You have been through trials and tribulations in life, overcame obstacles, and learnt how to handle problems better. Most importantly, you have realized the importance of getting up after every fall. Your experiences were not in vain; they have helped you rise with every fall. Regularly remind yourself of this and be immensely thankful.
Meditation can just be time to focus on being grateful to God for all the wonderful things you have been blessed with. Take time regularly to concentrate your thoughts on the source of positive, meaningful aspects of life.
Being grateful nourishes your soul. There is value to all your experiences, and being thankful regularly will inspire you, will make you smile even when the days are not great, and help you live a more fulfilling life.
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