Magic of gratitude

Okay so now I’m going to brainwash you into practicing gratitude.

Don’t worry it’s going to benefit you in manyyyyy ways.

So what is gratitude?

Must have heard “attitude of gratitude” saying.. but let’s not get into such meme related stuff here. Let’s get real for a while

Gratitude is a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness and appreciation for life

– Robert Emmons

Aha! This quote really touched my heart

So it’s a feeling of thankfulness about – the ice cream you ate today.. the treat your friend gave you last week… Well yeah.. something like that.

So now… You must be thinking hell yeah! I know that but I ain’t gonna say thank you for everything.

Seriously?

Lemme tell you the benefits –

Research has found that grateful people are more happier 😊 and energetic 😍 and hopeful 😀 than those who aren’t so grateful.

Plus…

They are more helpful and empathic

More forgiving

Anddd

Less materialistic!

Sounds great?

And also for all the fitness freaks out there –

Practicing gratitude is also linked to physical health.

Well… That doesn’t mean you’re going to get six packs in six weeks of practicing gratitude. 🙄

It just means your immunity will improve. You’ll think good thoughts and maybe feel more energetic in gym.

In her book ‘How of happiness’ Sonja Lyubomirsky explains 8 ways in which gratitude helps you.

8 super awesome ways gratitude helps you!

1. Grateful thinking promotes the savouring of positive life experiences

Here’s how I remember it –

Eat your icecream before it melts..

Enjoy the moment before it’s over. Be grateful and enjoy the present time before it’s gone.

Enjoy your college years before going for a job and reflecting back on college days and thinking “those were the days…..”

2. Expressing gratitude bolsters self worth and self esteem

Now imagine a very common situation –

You are late for a party.

You’ll probably say – “Sorry for being late guys… There was traffic” (or whatever lame excuse you come up with)

And they’ll probably ignore you… And you might end up feeling bad about yourself

Now what if you say –

“Thank you so much guys for waiting for me! I am so glad that you all are my friends”

Guess what would happen?

They won’t feel that bad about it… Anddd… Even you’ll feel better… Soooo much better! (I am so glad you are my friends…..🤗)

Boom! Shift in focus..

You feel better about yourself and others after expressing gratitude

3. Gratitude helps people cope with stress and trauma

Yeah… It does!

It’s challenging to express gratitude when you’re stressed or depressed. But like every other medicine you have to take this sour medicine to get better (I mean feel better)

In this period.. you may not have big things to be grateful for.. but it’s the little things that count. You could be grateful you had healthy food today or your friend came to talk to you or something like that.

But feel the gratitude. Say it out loud.

4. Expression of gratitude encourages moral behaviour.

You’re more likely to help others when you feel grateful.

Here’s the thing – when you are aware about your own blessings you want to be that blessing for someone else.

When everything is going good in your life, you are more likely to help others. It’s like when your cup is full, it overflows.

So if you want to help others, start by feeling more grateful about your own situation. It helps, trust me!

And when you help others it gives a more positive boost about yourself.

5. Gratitude can help build social bonds, strengthening existing relationships and nourishing new ones.

When you constantly realise how blessed you are to have this person in your life…

You treat them better! Even they treat you better!

Oh I’m so blessed to have you in my life honey… I really appreciate you doing the dishes yesterday and even though you were tired… You talked with me for a while and asked me about my day before going to bed… It’s these little things that make me so happy!

I feel the same darling. I remember the time when my mom was in hospital and you spent a week there taking care of her. She was so happy to have you there.. I will always remember the good things you’ve done for me and my family, this is nothing compared to that..

After reading this how many of you went “awwww”

Yeah! That’s how it gets.

Genuine appreciation has a wonderful impact. It kinda creates a “positive feedback loop” where both parties express their gratitude and feel awesome! For the rest of the week…

If you constantly remind yourself of the good things other person has done to you it might get hard to even get angry at them or when you do, it’s resolved quickly coz you know there’s more to this person than just this one incident.

So gratitude also helps in relationships! ❤️

6. Expressing gratitude tends to inhibit invidious comparison with others.

I am going for a vacation in Bahamas! Yay! I’m so excited for it… Where are you going?

For this vacation I’m going to visit my family after a year! Due to work and being in different country I cannot visit them that often. I’m so blessed to spend this vacation with them! I can’t wait to see my little sister and play some pranks with her… Haha..

Did person 2 feel jealous?

No!

Because she appreciates what she has. Did she compare? Nah! I don’t think so…

That’s what feeling of gratitude does.. it helps you appreciate what you have and makes you less materialistic.

7. Practice of gratitude is incompatible with negative emotions and may actually dimnish or deter such feelings as anger, bitterness and greed.

Can you feel angry and happy at the same time?

You can’t! No one can…

Some bittersweet feelings are there… But not really

If you thank someone for helping you, (genuinely) they are more likely to do that in future. Not just to you, but to others as well. It’s like creating a positive ripple. Everyone is benefited.

Do you feel guilty sometimes receiving help?

You won’t when you thank them from the bottom of your heart. You’ll realise you’re surrounded by kind people and they’ll feel happy as they are the kind ones.

Win-win situation for both parties!

8. Gratitude helps us thwart hedonic adaptation.

Do you remember the excitement you feel when you get something you always wanted…. And after few days… You don’t feel that happy about the thing.

For example – You always wanted to try the donuts of that new donut shop. Suddenly they open a branch next to your house. You feel sooo happy, you eat their donuts straight for 2 weeks.

Would you feel like going to that shop again? Will the excitement be the same?

Noooooo

(don’t lie.. it won’t)

Sooo… Here’s what you can do

When you go there next time, order a donut and feel grateful for the opportunity to eat it. Like… Wow… This is so yummm…. *Takes a bite… Wowww… I’ve never tasted anything like this….. It’s soo good!!!!

Just don’t say this loudly or you may never be allowed to enter the shop again!😂

But you get the point right?!

Hedonic adaptation is the way you adapt to new changes quickly and it doesn’t feel so interesting afterwards

So gratitude comes to your rescue even here!

See… I told you I’m gonna brainwash you into practicing gratitude.

So tell me… Was I successful in my mission? 😁

And lastly….

What’s good?

Pause. Stop criticising for a while. Stop ruminating about how bad you are doing. Stop overthinking about the situation.

Just ask yourself

What’s good?

We hardly take time to see what are the good things that are happening with us.

No really, ask yourself What’s good that happened today?

What’s good that happened last week?

What’s good that is happening right now?

Maybe it’s the great family dinner you had last week, maybe it’s your favorite dish your mom cooked for you yesterday, maybe it’s sharing quality time with your best friend today.

Talk about these things!

Notice them.

Appreciate that.

Share your happy memories 💕

The best way to multiply your happiness, is to share it with others.

Next time when you meet someone don’t ask them how they are doing and how was their day… Ask them – What’s good?

Can money buy happiness?

Okay, so being a positive psychology student (someone who studies happiness and well being) this is the question I am really curious about.

When I was small, I used to think that “Hell yes! Money does buy happiness. I can buy teddy, candy and go to adventure parks with money and it makes me sooo happy!”

As I grew up, I learnt to examine the issue from different dimensions.

Turns out that the happiness I found in candies and teddies didn’t last that long. After some time I got used to it and it didn’t excite me as it did before.

And it was not like those things always made me happy.

When I was sad and feeling lonely, no matter how much money was spent on buying me teddies and candies, I didn’t feel happy.

All I needed was a warm embrace from my mom and endless talks with her.

So, did money bring happiness?

Yes, when it was spent on adventure parks and family dinners.

Even now I long for those happy times I had with my family. These memories, they are still fresh and those pictures still make me smile.

Money does bring happiness when spent on having experiences with loved ones.

But there is another perspective to it.

For the people who are poor, money does bring a lot of happiness.

But once your needs are fulfilled, money starts loosing it’s value.

When you are hungry and have your favorite cookie, your satisfaction level is 100.

When you have another cookie that satisfaction level drops to 98

When you have yet another cookie the satisfaction level drops to 92

And so on…

There is this concept of ‘hedonic treadmill’ in psychology.

The hedonic treadmill theory states that our circumstances, including extremes like winning the lottery or becoming a paraplegic, alter our happiness level temporarily, and we quickly adjust back to a fixed emotional set point.

It basically means we get used to the new things that we have in our life – the good ones as well as the bad ones.

Therefore, the “happiness” money buyes is not long lasting.

There is actually a threshold of the happiness money can buy. Up to a certain point, it can, but once it exceeds the threshold, it cannot “buy” happiness.

Experts say that happiness does increase with wealth. But the correlation peaks at earning 75000$ per year.

Money is important. No doubt. But it’s not a necessity to be happy.

Here are two simple ways you can use to slow down the hedonic treadmill –

1. Be mindful of what you have. Bring your attention to the present. Feel those moments when you enjoy what you have and don’t take that for granted.

2. Try for a while to imagine your life without the stuff you have now, the people in your life now.

How do you feel?

Lonely, sad…?

Feel grateful for their presence. For the joy they bring to you.

Think about the good stuff your friends and family members have done for you and still do.

And… don’t forget to thank them♥️

I think… More than money, gratitude brings joy. What do you think?

Lemme know in the comments!

Hope you all are having a great day!😊

Writing a diary…

I’ve started writing a diary since the start of this month.

I always wondered, why do people keep diaries? Why to write you day in it? It won’t be of any use in future…

Recently, I came across a very beautiful article written on WordPress by a girl who kept writing a dairy since she was 7/8 years old. The way she told her experience and the beautiful way in which she conveyed the importance and need of writing a diary touched my heart.

Therefore I decided to write a diary and see what happens.

Also when I started, I was having emotional imbalance. I read it somewhere that writing about your emotions helps.

So that’s what pushed me to try this new ritual.

I’ve been writing for a month now and I realised that everything that girl mentioned in her blog was so true! And there are many other benefits as well.

I’d like to share them with you.

Here are few ways in which keeping a dairy helped me –

1. Improved my writing.

I feel it much easier to express my emotions through words now.

As I write about my daily life and what happened and how I felt, it also kinda improves my storytelling. Every day when you write a diary, you eventually try different and interesting ways to tell the incident.

It’s fun!

2. Reduced my overthinking.

When you are writing about something, you tend to analyse it. You cannot write the same stuff again and again. At some point (usually after 3-5 mins) you run out of negative thoughts to write.

That’s helpful. It helps you gain clarity on your thoughts. When your thoughts are on paper, it’s easy to analyse them and rule out the ones that really don’t make any sense.

But when these same thoughts continue to stay in your head, you get into downward spiral of overthinking.

3. I can enjoy good memories, any time! 🙂

Yes! When you’re writing about your good emotions, note the details of the situation and express yourself.

When you go through it the next week you will feel as if you’re living the experience once again.

You will feel grateful for those beautiful moments you had in your life.

4. I realised every day is new.

Now this might sound pretty obvious. But when you write diary you truly feel it. Every single day is unique, no matter how same your tedious chores are. There are many different things that happen every day.

I used to think how boring my life is, doing the same repetitive tasks again and again. But now I understand, there are many small, new elements you can include in your daily life to make it more interesting.

This might also remind you that every day is a fresh start and you have the ability to make it more beautiful.

5. Reduces stress –

When you are stressed or overwhelmed and there are so many thoughts in your mind that you find hard to control, writing them down can be helpful.

Once they are on paper, they do not bother you that much.

6. Makes it easy to reflect on yourself –

It gives you time and opportunity to think about yourself. About your feelings, about your growth, about your problems and about your happiness.

Life is short. It goes by quick. Between out hectic schedules it’s easy to miss out the little moments of happiness and growth. You need to hold on to those little moments and reflect on them. Pay attention to them. Live them.

7. It makes it super easy to track your progress –

You want to develop a habit. Or you want to read 500 pages of the novel this month.

All of these tasks need you to keep a track record of your progress.

How cool would it be to write that – You are following up on your habit or you are on your way to achieve your goal every day in your diary!

You’d feel proud and happy. Even when you are not able to keep up to your word, when you write about it, you feel the need to continue the behaviour in future.

So that’s how this “new” behaviour has now become my helpful habit.

You can try this out too guys!

What is your experience with writing a diary? Or starting a new habit?

Please share in the comments below!

I’d like to read! 🙂

Hope you all are having a fantastic week my friends!!

Psych fest in college

This week we had psychology fest in our college. Anddd to my pleasant surprise the topic was – Positive psychology!

It was focused on choti choti khushiyan. i.eHappiness in little things.

We learnt a lot in detail about happiness and other positive psychology concepts and had fun.

There was also a session on gratitude. They talked about expressing gratitude in our Indian culture.

Expressing gratitude is not so common in our culture. I mean we don’t go on saying thank you to our mom and dad everytime they do something good for us.

Its understood that our mom dad are going to take care of us and we love them, they love us.

If you try to say thank you to your mom dad for something they’ve done for you, they’ll probably say something like – Usme kaunsi badi baat hai?

Our ma’am shared her experience. When her husband was out of station and she had to look after her kids on her own, she realised how tough it is. She realised that her mom must’ve went through the same struggle to raise her and her brother. She felt truly grateful for everything her mom had done for her and she called her at night. (just to say a big thank you)

Her mom heard what she had to say and said – Teri tabiyat toh thik hai na? Itni raat ko kyu jaag rahi hai? ja so ja.

😄Happens.

I heard another incident.

This lady was a single mother. She worked and looked after her little daughter. Whenever she came home from office her daughter used to run and hug her and tell her how much she loved her. Every day she unknowingly waited for this moment.

One day her mom came to stay with them. She felt really good whenever her mom came to stay with them as she would take care of the household chores and reduce the burden on her shoulders.

After some days she realised that her mother was helping her so much, but as her daughter expressed her love every day, she didn’t express her gratitude to her mom.

One day she decided to tell her mom how much she meant to her. She rehearsed everything she was about to say.

Next morning at breakfast table she was planning to say it. But then she realised this might sound artificial or wierd and so she left that day without saying anything.

That day she was thinking about it every moment and felt guilty for not saying.

Next day, she decided to express her gratitude no matter what.

Next morning she told her mother how much she meant to her. How much she valued her presence in her life, how grateful she was to her by her side.

Her mom said nothing.

She left for work. This time she felt light. She had finally expressed her gratitude.

That day when she came home in the evening she saw her mom was cooking (as usual) but there was something unusual – She was humming a tune while she was cooking. 🙂

These heartfelt words touch our heart somewhere deep down.

So guys I want to tell you – Expressing gratitude might seem a bit weird or unusual – but say what you feel. Tell them how much they mean to you. How happy and blessed you feel to have them in your life.

They may not react in a way you expected but you will feel light and these words will touch their heart. And honestly – It’s so beautiful to express our love to our loved ones while we have them with us.

Tell them how much they mean to you. Express your love and gratitude. Especially to your parents, because it’s most likely that their efforts while raising us go unnoticed.

Do you have any such memory? Where you expressed your gratitude and felt good? When someone else expressed their gratitude towards you – how did you feel?

6 situations when I felt grateful and how that helped me

Every morning when I open my curtains for that first look at the day, no matter what the day looks like – raining, foggy, overcast, sunny – my heart swells with gratitude. I get another chance.

– Oprah Winfrey

Today I’ll be sharing some events from my life when I learnt the importance of being grateful. Many of you can relate to it as well.

I’d like to share how feeling grateful helped me enhance my happiness and helped me become more hopeful.

Day 1 – I was in 9th grade at that time. We were preparing for the farewell party of 10th standard students. We were busy with the preparations, working together, chatting with eachother and having fun.

On the day of farewell, we were super excited for the party. All went well, there were games, music and dance and there was also a session where the students were going to share their memories of our school.

I remember how good I felt listening to those stories. They shared the times when they won a competition, when they were scolded by teachers, when they received moral support and encouragement by teachers and the fun time they had during annual gatherings and picnics.

Some of the studens cried as they would be missing their friends, their fun memories and the teachers.

One girl said “Time flies! I remember it as yesterday when I took admission here for 5th grade. Teachers and students were so welcoming and friendly that I got along with them in no time. Now I look back at those years and realise how beautiful the journey has been.”

I suddenly felt how would it be next year, when we would be leaving the school.

I truly felt grateful that we had another year being in school. Because of that feeling of gratitude and the desire to create good memories, I found myself interacting more with friends I don’t usually speak a lot to and participating in many different competitions just to make memories.

The feeling of gratitude can help you enjoy and feel the days, months, years, you have left in a particular setting. This time will pass by soon, so why not enjoy it and find beauty in little things and live the moments.

Day 2 – It was when I won prize at elocution competition. I practiced really hard and finally I won.

My heart was full and overflowing with gratitude. I felt thankful to my teachers for helping me, to my parents for encouraging me, to my friends for cheering for me and to myself for putting in the work. I felt so confident and happy.

I allowed myself to take the credit for my work and be thankful to everyone for their support.

The feeling of gratitude can help you become more confident and happy. Instead of giving someone else the credit for your success, allow yourself to feel grateful for your achievement. You will remember that for a long time.

When you acknowledge people’s efforts and thank them, they feel good and they like to share the joy with you.

Day 3 – I remember watching the movie ‘Anand’ of Rajesh Khanna. It was so beautiful and touching that the message is still imprinted in my heart.

That was the story of a cancer patient and his attitude towards life. How happy and enthusiastic he was! Even after holding so much pain in his heart, he believed in bringing people together and making them smile. He was thankful for every single moment and he lived his life to the fullest.

That movie still makes me feel grateful for being alive. Isn’t it wonderful just to be alive? To get to experience this beautiful world and to spread your light.

The feeling of gratitude for every passing moment makes us more aware to enjoy this life. We don’t know what will happen next, we’ve got one life, let’s be grateful for being alive.

Day 4 – I was going through my first breakup.

It was a very hard time for me. (You know at first we have that strong belief that our first boyfriend or girlfriend will be the one we’ll get married to and when it doesn’t happen, we feel angry and sad and have that constant struggle to move on.)

At that time I was so fortunate to have my best friend by my side. She helped me get through it. There were so many times when she listened to me patiently, without judging me and she was the only one who didn’t gave me any advice. I was being bombarded with so many different advices from my friends. She was the only one who encouraged me to explore the solutions myself. Honestly, she helped me heal.

I feel so grateful to have such understanding and kind and lovely friend in my life. There were times when I took her for granted, but this feeling of gratitude towards her, feeling blessed to have her in my life, that is something that has made me give her the love and care she deserves every time.

Feeling grateful for the people around you, constantly reminds you of the good things they did for you, the good times you spent together. This strengthens your relationship.

You tend to evaluate the relationship in a more positive light when you feel grateful.

Day 5 – One of my friend was going through a tough time. She had problems at home and she was not doing well in college.

I listened to her. Listened patiently and sincerely. I didn’t give any advice. I validated her pain. Before leaving, she hugged me and said she was grateful for my time and support.

That day onwards, she started treating me much better. She was good to me before, but now she started trusting me more and responding more.

There are these small moments in our life when someone helps us and we feel good. When we express our gratitude, we tend to reciprocate more.

If someone was kind to me and I feel grateful for that it’s more likely that I will do kind deeds to that person and to others more often.

Day 6 – Okay, so this was the time when we had Valentine’s day in college. It was the month of February and couples were busy planning their day together.

Me and few of my friends were single. We were irritated by the constant buzz going around for Valentine’s day.

I saw a video on YouTube about valentine’s day that reminded people to spread love on this special day. That’s when it clicked – Valentine’s day is celebration of LOVE! It’s not necessary you should be engaged to someone to celebrate it. You can celebrate it with people you love.

I shared that video with my friends. We decided to spend the morning time with our families and give them gifts for taking care of us and loving us unconditionally. In the evening we girls met and had a wonderful time together.

At that night I saw many posts on Instagram from my friends about how amazing their day was, and how their bae surprised them.. and looking at their pictures I didn’t feel jealous or bad. I really felt happy for them and more than anything, I felt happy for myself. I felt extremely grateful to have such wonderful parents and amazing friends who have my back no matter what.

So, these were my experiences with gratitude and how it helped me.

Can you relate to this? Are there similar experiences in your life? How do you think being grateful can help you?

Share with me in comments below.

Thank you so much for being here🙏❤️

I live in the space of thankfulness — and for that, I have been rewarded a million times over. I started out giving thanks for small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. That’s because — for sure — what you focus on expands. When you focus on the goodness in life, you create more of it.
– Oprah Winfrey

Hope you have a beautiful Sunday🌈💙

What does gratitude mean to me?

Being grateful all the time isn’t easy. But when you least feel thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: perspective.

Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive. It’s the quickest, easiest most powerful way to change your life.

– Oprah Winfrey

Gratitude is more than just saying ‘Thank you’.

🔸It’s that feeling of gratefulness that you experience when you say Thank You. 🙏

🔹It’s about acknowledging someone’s efforts and being grateful for that. 😊

🔸It’s about counting the blessings in your life and saying ‘How fortunate I am to be alive! To experience this beautiful life!’ 😍

🔹It’s about appreciating someone’s efforts to keep them going. 👍

🔸It’s about transferring the positive energy into someone who made you happy and encouraging such acts. 💫

🔹It’s about being satisfied with what you have and enjoying the moment. 🌈

🔸It’s about feeling grateful for your loved ones and not taking them for granted. 💞

🔹It’s about focusing on the positive side and dragging yourself out of negative thoughts. 💖

I looked around and thought about my life. I felt grateful. I noticed every detail. That is the key to time travel. You can only move if you are actually in the moment. You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.

– Amy Poehlerh

When I express gratitude I find myself –

🔸Being satisfied for what I have and enjoying the present moment. 🌸

🔹Feeling blessed for… Almost everything. ✨

🔸Encouraging people who do good deeds. ❤️

🔹Feeling grateful for my loved ones and strengthening my relationships with them. 👫

🔸Being happy. 🤗

🔹Taking time to appreciate myself and my growth. 😇

🔸Being motivated to take action.✌️

🔹Appreciating little things in life and realising how much they mean to me.❣️

🔸Living my life to the fullest.🌟

Where there is gratitude, there is the realisation that we can find happiness and peace even when things are not going our way.

– Arianna Huffington

When do I express gratitude?

🔸When I realise someone took efforts to make me happy.😊

🔹When someone did something good for me.❤️

🔸When I realise how special and beautiful this moment is.🌈

🔹When I realise that, that situation made me a better person.👌

🔸When I understand how blessed I am.😇

🔹When I realise the importance of saying ‘Thank You’.❤️

🔸 When I remember good memories. 💙

How do I express gratitude?

🔸By saying ‘Thank you’

🔹By stating what they did and how that made me happy.

🔸By doing something good in return.

🔹By appreciating people’s deeds.

🔸By acknowledging good events in my life.

🔹By living in the present moment.

🔸By cherishing good moments.

🔹By telling my loved ones how much they mean to me and how grateful I am for their presence in my life.❣️

How does gratitude help you? Do you practice gratitude? What change did you notice in yourself before and after being grateful?

And here’s my favourite quote about gratitude –

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