Does cultivating gratitude make you better?

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Puzzle

Our emotions, feelings, states of mind colour each moment of life. They are the flavour, the timbre, the sensation that vibrates through our daily existence. Acknowledging and celebrating this truth is one of our greatest challenges but also the key behind our highest expressions as human beings. Consciously doing this is often difficult! Where do we start and how do we develop this capability? Is it even possible to  control this dynamic, this force, this power? How can we get our minds and hearts in sync? Will gratitude help?

As I reflect on my past struggles and growing mastery of this domain, I can confidently state there are answers. Tools that can help you create more joy in your life starting with gratitude. As you explore and combine those that work for you, solving the emotional intelligence puzzle becomes gradually easier. Some may ask, should you even bother? I believe you should. But the reason has to come from within! 

For me, it was the frustration of the rollercoaster highs and lows plus the uncertainty of the world around me that inspired me to transform. I was tired of the suffering. My life was finite, why should I feel miserable? Was there something I could do or get that would help? None of the advertised solutions made sense. Consumption didn’t work. You couldn’t make a person make you happy either. Circumstances were not the answer either. Slowly, I started realising that I was the one creating the emotions but how did this work? What exactly was the root to happiness?

Practice

I started exploring this question. It has not been easy! One of the most important lessons I can share is that the process is an ongoing commitment! It’s not a one-time silver bullet. Like most worthwhile things in life, it’s not the single action but the habit which makes the difference! Frankly, this can be hard at the beginning but does get easier with time. Where did I start with changing my internal universe? I started writing down 5 different things I was grateful for everyday beginning in 2014. 

When did I first come across this technique? Via the excellent Succes – Achieve success with emotional intelligence course by Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi. Overtime, it has become a critical part of my daily routine! The craziest thing? Any day I’ve tried the exercise…I’ve always been able to write down 5 things to be grateful for! It’s radical! Can you imagine this? I’ve done this exercise in the darkest circumstances and during fortunate times too. So what has it taught me? Gratitude is virtually infinite. It shows there’s always something to appreciate in life! Even if it’s just being able to take the next breath! 

Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it.

Jesse Owens


What’s the process? It’s simple. You can use a paper journal or a digital tool like OneNote or Evernote, even a word document will do. Then:

  1. Write down today’s date and the numbers 1-5 on the page
  2. Reflect over yesterday or today or life in general
  3. Whenever something you appreciate comes to mind, record it
  4. Repeat until you’ve got 5 things 
  5. Look over your list and enjoy the gratitude you feel 

Results

What are some of the benefits I’ve experienced from this practice? Firstly, I used to have a scarcity mindset. I was stuck in survival mode. How about now? I have elevated myself and exist with an abundance mindset. Secondly, I’ve become a more grateful person! How does this help? It’s made me open to present reality! The result? More energy and positive action which has revolutionised my circumstances. Thirdly, my locus of control has increased. Taking the small action of writing daily got me to become more reflective. This ability has made me less reactive by increasing my detachment. And clearly shown me the difference between what I can and can’t control. Finally, I’ve discovered that simply appreciating life makes it more joyful. From conversing with a friend to making a meal or even walking in the park, becoming a grateful person raises the enjoyment from common activities. 

Thinking back to my childhood, I was naturally grateful. Always amazed. Curious about the world. As humans tend to grow older, this innate zest for life tends to get crushed! Does it have to be this way? I don’t think so. The wondrous view on life can be created, nourished and grown! Writing down 5 grateful things daily is a powerful step to revitalising your life. You can restore your lost capacity for intrinsic joy. You can train yourself to see the silver lining. Eperience beauty more frequently! Most importantly, you can fall deeply back in love with life!

The energy this brings to your existence can transform the world. The amount of suffering in this world is sometimes overwhelming but when you cultivate gratitude in your life, you take steps to becoming a force of change! The world needs your enthusiasm, your capability, your positivity, your light! Write down 5 things daily. Become more grateful. Raise your elevation. Take more positive action. Create more freedom. Vibrate higher…change the world!

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