Happiness is not what brings us gratitude, being grateful brings us happiness.

Life passes us by so quickly because we’re so caught up in the chase, what to learn next, where to party next, where to move next, where to vacation next, when are we going to get our next paycheck and in this constant cycle, we forget to appreciate the best moments and people in our lives.

Today’s world has numerous distractions everywhere we look, our screen time due to the excessive use of phones or laptops, doesn't give us the time to take a minute to just look around and use all our senses. We don’t take out time to be in the present and if we were in the present more often, do you think we’d be happier? Guess you’ll have to try and find out but how, you ask?

There are so many ways we can learn to practice gratitude, both unconventional and common. We can make up our own ways of practicing gratitude and doing what works for us personally but here are three ways to jump start the process of practicing gratitude.

Photo: Skip Prichard
Photo: Skip Prichard

1. Count your blessings:

Who are some of the few people in your lives that make your life easy and comfortable? Look around at your parents, your siblings and your friends, even the people that work for you. Family can be very annoying at times and get on your nerves but they are also the only people in your life (apart from a few friends like family) that will always be there for you. Think about how some things would never be possible without your parents, your siblings and your friends. In the moment just stop and look at those people and think about them in your life.

2. Be thankful to your own body and mind:

We often give our bodies a very difficult time, blaming our body’s inculpabilities for our unhappiness. Your body has one job, to keep you healthy and alive and it’s doing the best it can so thank your heart for pumping the blood that keeps you alive and your taste buds to help you taste all the delicious food and drinks out there. Take out one minute or a few minutes a day, just to observe yourself and feel grateful that you have a body that works hard for you.

Photo: Time Magazine
Photo: Time Magazine

3. Write a eulogy for a loved one while they are alive:

We often don’t tell the people we love why and how much we love them, how difficult our lives would be without them so why wait till they are gone? Write one for each person you hold close to you heart and yes, that includes yourself too! If you have difficulty expressing your love with those three words then this is a great start to expressing your affection for those close to you. Again and I can not stress this enough, write one for yourself too because you need your own love too just as much as anyone else close to you.

Photo: NPR
Photo: NPR

You can move at your own pace, you can start by doing only one of these once a week and slowly begin to move forward but try to do all three for a month and see if it makes a difference. We think happiness will bring us gratitude but it's actually the other way around. Being grateful brings us happiness and who doesn’t want to be happy, right?

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