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Gratitude & Happiness

Gratitude and Happiness. As profound as it sounds. What is gratitude and how do you express it? Does having to feel gratitude make you cherish happiness? Ask yourself how many times have you actually cherished the happiness you felt or does it happen in a blink of an eye and you forget about it the very next moment attuning into your frenzied lifestyle. Are gratitude and happiness two different elements or are they interconnected? What are your thoughts?

We live in urban cities, where the whole notion of balance is a challenge. Pollution, traffic, competition, pressure to be successful, shortage of time, and other facets seem to domineer our lives. In all this, how do even find the time for stillness and peace let alone cherishing gratitude and happiness. The time when life was more easy-going and natural in pace sometimes seems like a fairy-tale of the vintage days. It is wishful thinking to imagine going back to that idyllic momentum of life in a modern city, but the good news is we can all develop these fundamental values and qualities in leading a good life.

We are a species which probably has the greatest capacity to reckon the past and also perceive a future, and the very nature of those two qualities battles against our desire to be present in the modern life as we are all preoccupied running primarily for the fulfilment of our material needs. By incorporating elements of gratitude and happiness into our daily routine would make our true nature which is to be present shine allowing us to connect with all making our everyday life more rewarding.

I have the impression that nature opens its doors, inviting us to capture every moment. Where do we find those inspiring moments in life to see the beauty surrounding us, beckoning us to share in the subtle joy? For instance, you go to a party or a wedding and feel so happy meeting your friends and family reuniting with them. You celebrate your surroundings, indulge in small talks, have fun, you live for the moment and when the party ends you bid farewell and then life heads on to the usual loop of busy hours till the next engaging event comes up. Or you go on a vacation with your family spend abundance of time indulging in happiness and fun and then reality hits you and there you are back at work, feeling despondent going through the photos taken during the vacation and scrolling your newsfeed reminiscing the happy moments and feeling the void. You would have spent the best time of your life at an occasion but thereafter you had to move on from it as life comes in forms of shade and shine.

Reminiscing memories absent in the present makes your heart frown. Immediately your attention suffuses to the agony of your present and your mind begins to think that life would be better if you were at the place you wished you could be. What if someone tells you that without a tinge of subdued past thoughts you could feel happy now and here by cherishing your present. Going with the flow of the modern world, given a device which could hoard your joyous moments for eternity and having access to them at your liberty as if u could keep those moments close to you and never let it go. Treasure it. Travel with it. Would you want it? Apparently, this device exists not in the form of a priced gadget but is your very own compassionate heart which has been gifted to you by nature. To be able to recognize and tap the hidden potential of the genuine heart to bring out the happiness in you while being present is the ultimate challenge.

How much time do we take to appreciate the little things in life which is around us is a question every individual should ponder on. Do u remember yourself as a young child leading a carefree and contended life showing receptiveness to the positivity around you? You gave more attention to the things that made you smile and feel happy. A small gesture of your mother birthed a smile on your face. As an adult now, do you even take a moment to look into your parent’s eyes feeling grateful for what they feel for you? As a parent, do you take the time to see your child’s eyes when it yearns for your smile? Why have we surrendered these qualities upon transitioning into adulthood is a question to wonder. Being grateful is a beautiful way to learn to appreciate the wonder of life. It shows in your eyes. Hence, here is something you can do to light the spark in the eyes of those who have grown old at heart: Make a Gratitude Jar. Pick any jar in your home and decorate it to make it special. Let it be your own creation. Start writing gratitude notes on small papers and drop them in the jar.

It is a note on a small piece of paper where you express something for which you are thankful.

It can be a moment in the sun, a good laugh with a buddy, a beautiful flower on the street, the shape of a cloud, your favourite dessert, or a kind gesture to someone. Take the time to appreciate it, to smile and to say, “Thank you”. You can draw, write a poem, or scribble a few words on your paper. With time, your family and the people around you will be curious. Speak to them about gratitude and wonder and tell them that abundance of research has been done to imply that being grateful heightens your well-being and invite them to drop their own gratitude notes in your jar whenever they wish.

Then observe! Look at their eyes when they drop the paper in the jar. Then, choose a special time to open the jar and read the notes. Wonderful memories will come. You can open it when someone is feeling a little low as you invite this person to sit with you to read a few notes. It will bring a smile to their face. Happiness is all around you it is how much effort you take to see it. By connecting your senses to your heart, you shall embrace the happiness around you and feel it within you.

– Amutha Aruvi Kaniamuthan

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