Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Gratitude Affects Your Happiness

Being grateful is one way to focus on the positive. This is one of the secrets of truly happy people. Instead of focusing on what they don't have, they focus on what they do have, and they take time to appreciate those things. Have you ever visited a nursing home or a retirement home and noticed that there are some people that are very bitter, and then there are those that are quite content? The people who have bitter attitudes can't seem to take their minds off what they don't have. It has just consumed them. Yet, the content people are quite the opposite. They have a thankful disposition, and refuse to allow their situation to bring them down. We can choose to be grateful everyday. Prayer is one way to take a few minutes everyday and thank God for the blessings in our life. We can also make a list of things we are grateful for, and post it somewhere we will see daily. That way when we feel ourself start to complain, we will remember all our blessings. Taking time to help people that are less fortunate than we are is also a good way to put things in perspective and remind us of our blessings. It is very sad that half of marriages end in divorce. I believe one of the biggest reasons that this happens is that we are not grateful for the person we have married. We choose to focus on the negative aspects that drive us crazy instead of being thankful for their presence in our lives, and then forget that we could lose that person altogether. After being together for a few years, it is so easy to take each other for granted and lose the appreciation and love that brought you together. In all types of relationships we would find that being grateful of each other leads us to more happiness and fulfillment.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." Melodie Beattie

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