A quick scour of the internet will give numerous results in regards to what gratitude means, its importance, countless benefits and different ways to express gratitude in your life.
Just in case you have been living under a rock, gratitude is the quality of being thankful. It magnifies positive emotions within us and allows us to appreciate and celebrate the present. To put it very simply, it is the ability to see the silver lining in every situation and focus on that.
Humans have a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of situations, perhaps due to our comparative nature. It seems so much easier to look at what everyone else has and complain about your perceived lack; as opposed to celebrating the little that you have.
As I wind down this series of self-awakening, I have realized that one cannot experience true reawakening without practicing gratitude.
Right from self-reflection and learning how to fall in love with the person you see in the mirror. Understanding that everyone has their own story and accepting them just the way they are. Growing in confidence of your unique self and knowing that you are unlike anyone else on this planet.
Gratitude is literally the glue that holds together all the pillars of self-awareness. More so because it is primarily self-driven and self-focused. You choose to experience it for yourself. It is determined by how you perceive anything in your life, hence has a lot to do with how you perceive yourself generally in life.
Contrary to what many may believe, you don’t need a huge life changing event to practice gratitude. You can pick the tiniest thing in the world to be grateful for and it will shift your perspective immensely.
It can be as simple as waking up in the morning – something that most of us take for granted. Or even the air that we breathe effortlessly into our lungs without the need for an oxygen tank.
The interesting thing about gratitude also is that it has a domino effect. Gratitude triggers more gratitude. You may wake up grateful for life and a new day. The thought will put a smile on your face and don’t be surprised if you encounter things during the day that make you even more thankful.
So how does gratitude apply to your self-awakening?
It shifts your focus towards appreciation of life in general and more specifically, towards ourselves. Rather than focus on areas we may not like about ourselves, we are able to shift our perspective onto the things we do like, and in so doing, enhance our appreciation of self.
Gratitude generally makes us happier, more optimistic about our selves, which also leads to increased confidence levels. It also makes us more accepting of others because we are able to appreciate them as they are. Thus it enhances our relationships with those around us.
With gratitude, we are more inclined to enjoy life in the present which enhances the power of choice. At any point we are aware that we are choosing to be thankful for life as it unfolds, which largely eliminates feelings of regret, comparisons and envy.
In a nutshell, gratitude ensures that you are living a life of serenity.
P.S. Don’t miss out on next week’s post where I will be talking about Serenity. This will be the final topic in the Self-Awakening series.