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Five Steps to Becoming Grateful

The sun is yellow and its essence is warmth. The colour of happiness is contentment and its essence is gratitude.

When we believe that the ‘grass is greener on the other side’, we can often lose hope instead of picking out the weeds, tilling and planting new patches of grass on our side of the fence instead of remembering the positives in our lives and focusing on them.

Gratitude is a state of mind, not a thing to be possessed. Gratitude cannot be bought. It is not a goal; it is a continuous, progressive process.

Here are five steps involved in paving the road to gratitude…

Based on the principles of needs and wants, we chart these simple steps that can make us grateful for everything, great and insignificant.

Step 1: Comparison is the silent murderer of joy:

Everything that brings discontent has its roots stretched deep in comparing one person’s chapter one to someone else’s chapter thirty.

Tip: Comparison is only healthy when you compare the you of today to the you of yesterday. It suffices that one compares themselves to who they were yesterday. This helps to reduce anxiety and keeps worries at bay. It is never a good idea to get ahead of yourself.

Step 2: Look at those who have less

Look at those who have less in terms of worldly possessions, in terms of health, wealth and self-awareness. Thinking of those less fortunate helps to develop our empathy and helps us to see what we already have and accept it as what we need and the best of what we could have had.

Tip: Recognise that fulfillment of wants is not going to make us happy, but being happy with what we already have is gratitude and this gratitude is a precursor to contentment.

Step 3: Think about all the symptoms of an ailment you DO NOT have

Sickness naturally makes one weak in the body and drains one’s spirit just like their energies. Sickness makes us vulnerable and lowers our motivation. Make a mental list of 5 things that could make what we are suffering even worse than we think it is and then remember to be grateful for what you do not have to suffer.

Step 4: Do not think ‘why me’ think ‘what is this moment or situation trying to teach me?’

Failure is that stepping stone that every successful person has experienced at some point in their lives. No loss is a loss if you have gained something from it. If a method does not work, we know what not to try next time. Developing a positive mental attitude that is strong despite all odds will change the outcome of a thing.

Step 5: Hold on to the little miracles because you are one of them

Nothing is insignificant when you zoom in on it. Hold on to the little things in life that make moments enjoyable and worth experiencing. Little things like sharing a smile with a loved one, gaze up at the sky, knowing that someone is happy because of your help, to do small acts of good for someone, even something as seemingly small as offering them a glass of water on a hot day.

Changing the intention or attitude towards a situation within one’s self, person or thing can make it bearable if not lovable.

Always remember, if you cannot remove a thought, then rearrange it, emphasise the important and blur the unnecessary.

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