On today’s blog, we feature an article from guest author Caroline Black. Enjoy :-)
Living with gratitude is essential for finding inner peace and happiness. Being able to recognize what you have and to be joyful about it will make you feel better about yourself and will allow you to look at the world more positively. One of the most common ways people suggest you express gratitude is to keep a journal. The act of sitting down and writing out what it is you are grateful for and how these things affect your life can be very cathartic, and it helps internalize this sensation of gratitude.
But keeping a journal is not always practical. Some people don’t like to write (although you should give it a serious try before saying no), and it does take time to sit down and write these things out that sometimes we simply do not have.
So, it’s important to find other ways to embrace gratitude so that you can harness the power of this emotion in a way that makes sense for you. Consider the following simple ways of making gratitude a part of your life.
Buddhist monk and renowned spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh is famous for his practical approach to spirituality and achieving happiness. He has many famous quotes, but one of my favorites is:
“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”
A smile is a really simple thing, but it means something so much deeper. It is a visual representation that you are at peace and harmony with the world around you; it shows people that you are happy and that you are grateful for the present moment in time and space in which you find yourself.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to wait until you are happy to smile. You can work backwards, spending time thinking about all that you have and using the smile to bring you towards a position of peace.
Obviously, there will be moments when life takes your smile away from you, but it’s important to stay grounded and to bring it back whenever you feel down. This way your peace and gratefulness will resonate with others, increasing its power and influence on yourself and those around you.
Take care of yourself
Good health and well-being are also signs of gratitude. If you are content with the position that you find yourself in, you are far more likely to engage in healthy habits that nurture the mind, body, and soul.
Letting your health fall to the wayside is the exact opposite of being grateful. It says to the world that what you have is not enough, and therefore you are unhappy. By embracing health and self-care, you are showing to yourself and the world that you have found peace and happiness in the last place we often look: right in front of us.
Self-care can come in many forms, from the food you eat, the coffee you drink, the activities you take part in and so on. Put your health first and this will lead you to embrace gratitude with everything that you do.
Spend time with those you love
We all wish we could spend more time with loved ones, and often times the only thing holding us back from doing so is ourselves. Imbalance within us causes suffering, and this often makes us turn away from the people we consider to be most important.
By making more time in our lives for loved ones, we are once again expressing gratitude for what it is we have. We are saying to ourselves and to the world that we don’t need anything else except for the love and the support of those who are close to us. This is a powerful idea that stands to help positivity and happiness resonate in everything we do.
Life is busy and sometimes it’s hard to find the time to be with those we care about. So, make time. Go out of your way to ensure you have opportunities to share moments with those you love so that you can demonstrate to yourself the love and gratitude you have for the present moment in which you find yourself.
Go easier on the environment
Our relationship with Mother Nature plays a big role in our happiness and inner peace. I believe one of the reasons there is so much pain and suffering in the world right now is because of the way we treat our Earth.
Of course, it’s impossible for any one person to save the planet, but taking steps to care for the Earth is a great way to express gratitude. Everything we have is a product of Mother Nature and her generosity. By mistreating her, we are essentially snubbing her kindness and expressing a dissatisfaction with what we have.
Consider making changes to your diet and lifestyle so that you can live in more harmony with nature and take some time to enjoy the natural beauty of the Earth as often as you can. This will help you reconnect with the forces that make you and the world, and this will infuse you with a feeling of gratitude that you can carry with you wherever you go.
Gratitude is an incredibly powerful emotion. Embracing it in our everyday lives is transformative, as it asks us to shift our perspective and to begin wanting less, helping to erode some of the fundamental causes of human suffering. Writing in a journal is a great way to do this, but there are plenty of other ways to live a life of gratitude. I’ve outlined a few, but there are plenty more. How do you embrace gratitude on a daily basis?
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Caroline is a creative writer and health, wellness, and spirituality blogger. She made the switch from a traditional 9-5 job to create for JavaPresse so that she could spend more time on herself. She writes frequently to try and spread her message of peace, positivity, and gratitude.