Finding Happiness by Practicing Gratitude
Thanksgiving may be over, but the heart of this holiday might just be the key to finding happiness.
I think that there’s a misconception that happiness is a thing that just happens to us. That some people get to be happy, while others just don’t. What if you could take control of finding happiness instead of waiting for it to find you? In this inspiring TED Talk David Steindl-Rast shares what he believes to be the key to finding happiness: gratitude.
He’s right, isn’t he? We all want to be happy. And I think the connection he draws between finding happiness and practicing gratitude is a powerful one. This quote from his talk really struck me:
The key to all this is that we cannot only experience this once in a while. We cannot only have grateful experiences. We can be people who live gratefully. Grateful living, that is the thing. And how can we live gratefully? By experiencing, by becoming aware that every moment is a “given moment,” as we say. It’s a gift.
Of course, that appreciation and the ability to live in the moment is a lot easier to talk about than it is to practice, isn’t it? We’re constantly looking ahead toward the next thing. What’s on our to do list? What do we want? Where are we going? I am as guilty of this as anyone else.
Finding Happiness: Stop. Get Quiet.
He talks about taking the time to stop and get quiet, and that takes practice.
There are lots of ways to practice that mindfulness, and the more we practice, the better we become at living in the moment and finding that gratitude. Yoga and meditation can help, or we can try to be more conscious of the present in our day-to-day.
What if we consciously stopped to see the opportunities for happiness a few times each day? You could even set a calendar reminder to stop and get quiet at a few points in the day. Do you think this kind of practice would help you? I am going to set some reminders and give it a try!
What do you think about Steindl-Rast’s idea about finding happiness through gratitude?
Image Credit: Hand Heart photo via Shutterstock
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