Gratitude is an emotion we feel when we are appreciative and thankful for all that we have in our lives. The reason for gratitude can be as big as taking an expensive holiday abroad or as small as enjoying a walk around the countryside. We often feel that we are living mundane, routine lives and there is nothing to be grateful for.

This becomes more pronounced when we compare our lives with the wealth or lavish lifestyles of our friends and neighbors. We are haunted by a feeling of despondency and feel that there is nothing to be grateful for, but this is where we are wrong. If we want to bring more well-being into our lives, we need to change the way we look at life.

The most pondered question of all would seem to be where to find the source of happiness. What must we focus on to achieve happiness? If we decide that it is only through material wealth and success we can achieve it, then there is no way can we ever hope to be happy. This is because material wealth and success, and what one considers to be enough, is subjective. There will always be people possessing more or less wealth than us, but this also doesn’t mean that the person who is rich is happier than someone endowed with less wealth or success.

Gratitude gives us a better perspective on life

Spiritual teacher, David Steindl-Rast, explains the way to happiness in one simple sentence, “It is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Beyond doubt, the feeling of gratitude brings a shift in our consciousness, whatever may be our situation in life.

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Our perspective changes and we view things in a more positive light. Our mood changes for the better, making us feel a lot lighter. Once our perspective changes, even a dull, rainy day will be enjoyable. Instead of fighting the traffic and facing the hurly-burly of the outside world, we can sit with a book in a cozy corner of our home. The soothing sound of the rain can make us feel creative and inspire us to paint that beautiful scenery, knit a sweater, or finish writing an article.

We wonder how can we see any good on the days when we are sick and feeling awfully low, but if we ponder for a while, we will realize that it is only during these times that we learn to be appreciative of our health. We stop taking it for granted. We start being conscious of our diet and maybe even take up an exercise regime. We must be grateful for life's challenges as well, as only through those do we learn the values that help us live happier and fuller lives.

Again, there are times when we are faced with very difficult situations like a serious illness or an abusive relationship.

In those times it is not possible to have even an ounce of gratitude. But, people who have conquered personal tragedies have shown us that it was these hardships that made them more appreciative of life. Often they turned out to be a hidden gift, as it helped them achieve far more success, whether in their personal lives, relationships, or careers.

Gratitude activates the law of attraction

The Law Of Attraction is a law that works in favor of gratitude. For those who are not aware, this law works on the principle that it is our positive thoughts and emotions that help us manifest abundance. People who believe in this law have reported that it was the times when they have been grateful that they have received some form of abundance in their lives, but there are also people who have wished very hard and yet found themselves disappointed. Experts on the law of attraction theory say that the universe understands our feelings and emotions and not the repeated pleas or wants.

When we are grateful we focus on the positives and that is the vibration we radiate to the universe. The universe takes it as a sign that this is what we wish for. Hence, it gives us the ability to generate even more of it and thereby manifest our desires. On the other hand, when we are disgruntled, we focus on the negative aspects of life. Even if we earnestly desire something, we are consumed by the lack of confidence or faith to manifest it. Accordingly, that is what we convey to the universe. As a result, we end up with a lack of success and an empty feeling of yearning.

Gratitude also works wonders when it comes to the relationships with our family, friends, and acquaintances. At times we find ourselves upset with our near and dear ones, but if during those times we focus on the things they have done for us, it will automatically release our resentful feelings. We will feel lighter and will not hold any grudges or ill feelings toward them. Letting go of expectations not only benefits us internally, but also alleviates the strain in our relationships.

To imbibe this feeling of gratitude in our daily lives, we can take to gratitude journaling, which I will be discussing in my next article: “How to start a gratitude journal.” [VIDEO]