Are you living graciously? Do you appreciate all that’s around you in every moment? No? You’re not a lone. Most of us forget the power of gratitude, but to encourage us to re-consider our conditioning and to take note of all the beauty in even the small things, Louise Presley-Turner shares advice and 5 questions you have to ask yourself.
Did you know that our standard of living nowadays is far greater than at any other time? Yet, studies tell us we’re actually the unhappiest we’ve ever been. Why? The answer lies in our conditioning. Over countless generations, our minds have been programmed to look for the negative or strive for things we haven’t got, filtering out all the wonderful things we already do have.
Here’s an interesting exercise to try. Imagine you’ve won a substantial amount of money. Get a piece of paper and make two lists. On one side, list all the things you would change if money were no issue, such as, say, paying off your mortgage, changing career or having a few luxury holidays. On the other side, list all the things that would stay exactly the same regardless of how much money you had in the bank: friends, family, favourite food, preference in music, films etc. What this exercise demonstrates is that not many of us would actually change that much.
So, what does this reveal? That everything you need to live a happy and fulfilling life already exists right in front of your eyes! To help you better understand and appreciate what you already have, why not answer the following questions?
1 Who or what in your life currently makes you happy?
2 What things in your life bring you most meaning?
3 Who or what are you grateful for in your life?
4 What or who brings you the most joy and pleasure?
To change your conditioning, refer to the answers above on a daily basis. Maybe print them off and put them somewhere you can see them everyday. Personally, I keep my own gratitude list in my diary, where I can refer to it each morning.
Once we can appreciate all the wonderful things we already have, it’s easier to be truly happy and complete. So, here’s to living with an attitude of gratitude!