New Delhi: Human minds have been designed in such a way that our focus often goes towards what we do not have, or on what is not going well and seldom on what is going well, or what we have, and that is how worry and fear creep in.
It could be our health, home as a shelter, jobs, children or relationships, surroundings, access to clean food, or nature; there is so much in everyone’s life to offer a little bit of gratitude for every single day. In fact, gratitude is powerful and said to be one of the quickest ways to feel happier.
But what if you are struggling to find things to be grateful for? What if your gratitude doesn’t come easily to you? And even if you do find things to be grateful for like your job or family, what if it isn’t leaving you with a feeling of pleasantness it should ideally. What if you read books on gratitude, but still feel there is a missing piece of the puzzle?
Sometimes gratitude practice can feel like a struggle, especially in times like today when there are worries and uncertainty all around, and most people complain about how their minds dwell on problems not resolved, opportunities missed out on, relationships lost, promises not kept, poor health, faded dreams, and fears of an uncertain future, regrets, and longings.
Here’s what you can do. Adopt a practice of reflection and then gradually move to gratitude. Reflection is practice when you sit in silence and start reflecting on everything you have in life in detail. You cover the minutest of details like a cup of coffee you received this morning, the way you felt when you woke up, the birds chirp you heard, the compliments you received, the hug you got, the child you saw smiling, the giggle you hear, and so on.
When you begin the process of reflecting, you go into the smallest details of life which are often missed in this fast-paced life. Through deep reflection, we understand and able to think of all these little details of life that matter and that puts us in a position to offer gratitude more easily.
When we mindlessly practice gratitude, it might not work and still leave you feeling incomplete about your practice. So first begin reflecting and while you are in the process of reflecting you will very naturally find so many things come up in your mind that will make you feel thankful for. This will add so much sense and power to your practice. Give it a shot. You have nothing to lose by trying.
By Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach — Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine