This is the fifth step of nine, on the path to happiness.
Step # 5) Learn To Experience & Express Gratitude
Stop for a minute and think of someone that you’re grateful to have in your life. Now really focus on what you appreciate and like about them? Think of nothing but your gratitude for having them in your life and what it is that you appreciate about them. Now close your eyes and focus on what you love about them for the next five minutes.
Did you do it? Reading changes nothing – it’s merely entertainment for the mind – we must act to attain change – so stop now and go back and do the exercise.
How do you feel? Good, don’t you? When we focus on our gratitude of others and what we have in our lives we stop thinking negatively about what we don’t have. This positive focus encourages us to become more aware of our own happiness.
“Gratitude is the open door to abundance.” Yogi Bhajan
If we look at happiness, gratitude is almost always a characteristic that is present. Again what we focus on becomes more impactful in our lives. Therefore if we make gratitude a larger aspect of our thoughts, we are capable of ending pain by simply changing our focus.
Try this little experiment. Yes you have to do it – but only if you’re serious about changing you outlook on life and making the changes that will bring you happiness. Give this exercise ten minutes. Make a list of all the things you’re truly grateful for in your life. Again only write down those things you are truly grateful for. Maybe, should be, might be – leave them out. Stay at it for ten minutes – you may need a little time to get rolling. When you are finished notice how you feel.
Don’t get down on yourself if this doesn’t come easy. This is a learned behaviour – it does not come natural – you don’t just “know how”. If you’re not in the habit of experiencing or expressing appreciation, you may have to remind yourself in some way. It would be a good idea to write down at least one thing every day. At first you may have to look for things to appreciate, but after a while, it will become more natural. Again this is a learned behaviour.