3 Ways To Trigger Happiness by Practicing Gratefulness
Do you often feel as if ‘the grass is greener’ on the other side? If so, then practicing gratefulness can be an eye-opening experience. In this article you’ll learn 3 ways in which you can use gratitude for achieving happiness and inner peace.
I remember when I was a teenage girl, 15 or so. Not a day passed by that I didn’t wish to be somewhere else. I would’ve done anything to be taken away from that ‘boring‘ life in that boring town.
And it’s funny, isn’t it? How we’re all dreaming about things we do not have. That unfulfillable feeling of recognition. That stacked up bank account. That dream trip to a country far away. Or that villa in the neighborhood everyone is obsessed about.
We’re always looking for things outside of ourselves. As if we’re not good enough already. Always striving to gain more, to achieve more, to be more than we already are.
I’m not talking about pursuing dreams per se. The pure act of following dreams and setting goals is amazing, and I’m a huge supporter of that.
The problem occurs, however, when we completely fail to see the beauty of the present as a consequence.
I was just as guilty of doing this. Until I finally opened my eyes, and saw the world for what it truly was.
I still remember it like yesterday. I was driving my car on a rare sunny day in The Netherlands, I put up the volume for a song I liked when I started noticing things.
They were small and subtle things actually. I noticed how beautiful the sky was that day. How amazing the lyrics were and how peaceful it all felt.
I felt an instant connection of music and nature flowing right through me, like a breeze of air inciting goosebumps all over me.
“For once, my mind was like a harmonious box of bliss.”
I think that since this moment, I finally realized how beautiful life actually is. How lucky I am to be born as a healthy human being. How lucky I am to have had certain opportunities in life.
To have amazing parents, an always supporting big sister and a peaceful relationship. To have experienced my first big dream and to even have the freedom to pursue it.
Everything started to make sense. Life started to make sense.
I think it was because, for once, my mind was like a harmonious box of bliss. For once, I was extremely happy to be, well, me.
Practicing Gratefulness: How to Activate the Undeniable Power of Gratitude
This revelation took place over a year ago, and my mind hasn’t changed ever since.
Sure, there were ups and downs since then. But somehow my mindset only grew stronger with every hit it took.
I eventually started to see more things along the way. I began appreciating certain personality characteristics, the skills that I possess, and the people I have around me.
It’s amazing how something simple as opening your eyes to your surroundings and acknowledging the things you already possess can guide you to an undiscovered area of happiness.
But how do you activate this ‘power’? How can you switch off the obsessive desires and turn on the grateful mindset instead?
1. Open your Eyes For The Things Unseen
This one struck me the most. I was completely stunned by never truly realizing the things that were already before me.
By constantly focusing on the the things I didn’t have, and therefore not seeing the things I did have, I spend less time thinking about things that potentially could make me happy.
It’s all in the little things actually. I mean, even if your life has been a complete ‘hell-hole’, there still must have been at least a few experiences that gave you joy.
And it could literally be anything! Below you will find a list of examples.
(I know that every individual has had different relations and experiences in life, meaning of course that not every option is applicable for all).
Things to be practicing gratefulness for:
- The caring love of your parents;
- The peaceful town you grew up in;
- That one physical feature you find really attractive about yourself;
- The realization that you never had to worry about losing your life;
- You’re incredibly smart and witty;
- You’re a natural in sports;
- The peaceful relationship between you and your partner;
- The fact that almost everyone seems to like you;
- Amazing childhood experiences that you will never forget.
Like I said, It can literally be anything. Find those things you like about your life ánd yourself. Things that are already there but were never truly recognized.
Write it down, speak it out loud. Perform daily gratitude until it becomes an automatic process.
For a healthy mindset, that’s the thing you want to work towards.
Need help? Download the Free Hypnosis MP3 ‘Attitude of Grattitude’ to simplify this process.
2. Cherish your Past Memories and Experiences
Looking back to my life, it has been an amazing 26-year during ride. Was it Hollywood-movie-worthy? Not really. Was it amazing anyway? Hell yes.
But I didn’t always used to think like that. More like the opposite actually. I always dreamed of escaping this ‘boring’ hometown.
Fast-forward to a decade later and I’m actually super grateful to have been born and raised here.
It’s actually a nice town you know. It’s safe. The people are nice. We’re free. It’s relatively educated. And our legendary annual ‘party week’ is the best of the entire country.
“Also the good things made you into who you are today.”
Aside from a few missteps here and there, I have nice memories of this place. Memories and experiences that I can cherish for a lifetime. And I feel grateful for that.
Maybe a hometown is not the best example for you. In that case, think about your high school, a nice holiday, a sports-camp, an old roommate or an old work place. Anything that you have nice memories of.
Remember: those memories are yours forever. Also the good things made you into who you are today.
They’re already a part of you. So why not be grateful for it?
3. Think of All the Ways it Could have Been worse
This is a very effective method of practicing gratefulness, as it can truly make you realize the life you already possess.
Now I don’t mean to trivialize anyone’s problems here. That’s not my intention at all, so forgive me if I give you that idea. I know everyone has their own battles and I completely respect that.
This particular method is about putting everything in perspective and pretending that it all could be worse.
It’s not a “Don’t complain about the food because children in Africa are starving” kind of thing. It’s not about complaining at all. Quite the opposite actually.
It’s about generating inner peace, acceptance and appreciation of your current situation.
For example, imagine that you’re struggling with money. You’re living from paycheck to paycheck and you’re barely keeping by. This is undoubtedly an unpleasant situation that can really drag you down mentally.
Now, imagine that you have no roof over your head. No food on the table. No clean clothes to put on, or even a shower to wash yourself in.
Then turn this into positive formulations. For example:
“Sure, my money problems are difficult, but I’m still grateful for that roof over my head. I’m still grateful for buying a decent amount of food, and for my partner that always supports my decisions.”
This method will help you to appreciate what you already have. It’s a great exercise for generating a healthy and peaceful mindset, because you’ll feel that you’re already doing great in life.
And remember: things can always get better, but they can also definitely get worse.
Appreciate the present for what it is. Because, once you truly open your eyes, the world is actually a freaking amazing place to live in.
Questions about Practicing Gratefulness?
Do you have any questions about how practicing gratefulness?
I’m here to help. You can send an email to [email protected]
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