The Power of Gratitude
Written by Sandeep Kaur Kalsi
In a world that is overflowing with physical resources and material possessions, we might think that more of us are choosing to live in a state of pure gratitude. So why is this not a practice that we all adhere to or adopt in our daily lives?
From a personal perspective, which some of you may also resonate with, I have often felt that we live in a consumeristic and socially conditioned society which has caused us to believe in any or possibly even all of the following: we are not good enough, someone else is doing ‘better’ than us or we need the latest product in order to lead a more fulfilled life. As a result, our brains are wired to think that we cannot lead a life of ‘true abundance,’ which, according to author and alternative medicine advocate Deepak Chopra, is “an experience in which all of our needs are met and our desires are fulfilled.”
The issue with this form of reality is that our attention and energy becomes a matter of what is lacking or scarce in our lives rather than a realisation of what is often right in front of us. I’m sure we can all appreciate this simply from a logical point of view – if we are always focusing on the lack of money, cars, designer clothes etc that we have, then no matter how much we accumulate in our lives, we will never have enough.
Of course it is important to recognise that this is a very natural phenomenon and often a part of human nature. But I also believe that there is a profound skillset, something which we can all develop, in training our minds to alter its perceived reality. I am by no means an expert in this field but I have realised that there are a number of small changes that we can integrate into our everyday lives in order to develop a life of contentment.
- Become a silent witness to the negative thoughts that enter your mind in a non- judgmental way. Then try to change the framework of the thought so that it is more positive in nature. Eg whenever you begin to tell yourself ‘I’m not good at anything,’ try to reflect on all the moments in your life when you have achieved something amazing and how you felt during those times.
- Take some time out everyday to surround yourself in nature and immerse yourself in everything that is around you.
- Create a gratitude journal. Take the time to thank God, the universe, your intuition or whatever you might call it, for the things that you have in your life. It may seem like a difficult task at the beginning but the more you practice this, the more things you’ll find to be grateful for.
- Watch/listen to videos/podcasts that bring a sense of positivity into your life. Someone that has only recently resonated with me is Steve Harvey, not because of his comedic work or his television shows but because of his strong convictions that God has truly transformed his life into what it is today.
- Try to practice meditation as a means of quietening the thoughts that are constantly overpowering the mind. One of the most common forms is to simply focus on the sensation of your breath. Or perhaps try reciting a particular mantra that means something to you.
I hope this has been helpful in some way and that you were able to take from it whatever it was that you needed to take. I’m sure you will agree that this is not something that can be developed overnight. It will most certainly require continued resilience and persistence in order to see profound results. But, at the end of the day, what we place our energy on ultimately becomes our life.