How to channel gratitude

In our modern world of instant gratification, it is relatively easy to become entitled and spoiled. Once in a while, you may forget the things in your life you could be grateful for. Many wellbeing practitioners attest to the importance of appreciating what you have and showing gratitude as a vital step to achieving happiness. Here are four ways you can channel gratitude:

1. Start small

Stop every now and then and take stock. Feel and hear the sound of your lungs inhaling and exhaling, notice the sensation in your limbs as you walk, brush your teeth or pick up objects. These may be small parts of our day which we often overlook, but which we would be incredibly difficult without our health. Even if you have many troubles, you can find something in your physical and mental health to be thankful for.

2. Get a dose of reality

It can be easy to ignore what is going on around you and exist solely in your own little bubble. While this protects you from the negativity in the world, it can affect how you perceive it. You may think everyone lives the same quality of life that you have when, in reality, many people are living in poverty, wars or social ills maybe tearing families apart, and others are suffering from preventable diseases.

Exposing yourself to such realities allows you to recognize the bounties you have, even if they don't feel like much. From the food you eat to the vacations you go on, changing your perspective once in a while will help you become more grateful and satisfied with your life. 

3. Show appreciation

Showing gratitude begins with appreciating anything that happens around you. If you are having a meal with your loved ones, say a prayer or vow of gratitude, both to the person who created the meal but also for the farmers that grew the food, the suppliers who sold it to the store and the vehicles that helped to transport it. When you buy a new pair of shoes, consider the entire process and all the people who have made it so easy for you when others in another part of the world may be wearing worn-out shoes. Declutter your closet once in a while and donate any clothes and shoes you never wear which are in good condition to charity so that others may appreciate them too. You will soon realize how blessed you are to have the items you own.

4. Avoid spoiling yourself

If you give in to every whim, you will never be satisfied. If you're not convinced, try to remember a time when you desperately wanted a new item. At first, buying it may have filled you with joy, but how long did that feeling last until you craved another and another? Avoid feeding this attitude by only buying the things that you need and forgoing the rest. Remember that we create our own state of mind, and our happiness is not dependent on external factors. 

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