Is your life happy? Do you remember to enjoy the small things in life? Do you express your gratitude every day?
In order to live a healthy happy life requires you to address all aspects of your life and surroundings. You need to go much further than just getting fit or changing what you eat. Obviously fitness and diet develop the physical body. But they also develop the mental and emotional bodies to a degree through the endorphins released through exercise, and by creating a better chemical balance in the brain through good food choices.
The mind-body connection is well recognized and it’s known your emotional state affects how healthy your body is.
Holistic growth involves changing and improving on all levels – spiritually as well as physically and mentally. It requires you to be constantly aware and willing to make changes in attitudes, to practice mindfulness, to cultivate gratitude and to open your heart with generosity.
To develop your spirituality you don’t need to follow a religion although you can if you prefer. But you do need to develop a close and meaningful relationship with your essential inner self. You could go and undertake something quite life-changing such as Vipassana to achieve this, but often it’s by simply looking at the things in your life differently that you create the biggest impact, and you can do this in small ways every day.
Becoming connected to the world directly around you in a positive and meaningful way can create a snowballing effect that leads to big changes within. By developing and practicing this you also show love and care for yourselves. You can do this by:
- showing love and care for the Earth in your own neighbourhood
- appreciating the small gestures of those you cross paths with
- acknowledging when things fall into place smoothly
- actually noticing what is going on around you
The key to achieving these grass root changes is in the cultivation of gratitude, which results in you becoming more generous, which then leads to personal awareness and growth. What a great chain of events!
Gratitude is a funny thing. We are all taught to say please and thank you but not often how to feel and express gratitude for our life.
I remember teaching this basic social grace to my son when he was 3 years old. As he and his little friend were exchanging Christmas gifts the boys were told to “shake hands” to show gratitude and thanks. They looked at each other bewildered for a moment and then both started shaking their hands wildly in the air around themselves.
But gratitude is not just about saying thank you for a gift (whether you like it or not). It’s about finding joy in the detail of your life and bringing the focus of your life back to the minutiae around you.
It’s about bringing an awareness of the continual flow of life and a development of a sense of your connection to all, within.
It’s about recognizing all the blessings that are a part of each day, the blessings that often get lost in the daily humdrum.
Gratitude’s about finding joy in the detail of your life.
Living In The Moment
When exactly is it we first become focused on “keeping your eye on the prize”? I see this as the single most important attitude that undermines the practice of gratitude. We spend our life focused on achieving the promotion, the dream house, cool car, we follow fashion which changes so fast we constantly need more new garments, we work towards the next holiday, beautiful jewelry and on and on and on.
We’re driven by never-ending striving for what we need to achieve and own, our eyes constantly focused on what’s up ahead, the big prize.
When we live with this focus we miss the life around us, the little details of our everyday life…we fail to ever live in the moment.
Living in the moment is what we’ve been told to do in order to know, understand and improve ourselves, but we’re never in the space to achieve it.
By cultivating gratitude and forcing yourself to bring your focus back from what you desire or want to achieve you start to notice the small things around you, and to find ways to give back to the earth as well as to the people in your life.
By cultivating gratitude you also cultivate generosity.
One way to begin cultivating gratitude is to start a gratitude journal.
Like to know more about keeping a gratitude journal and the benefits of gratitude?
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.
- How to Find Happiness @ Work (living-minimalist.com)
- Gratitude’s the attitude, baby (betheloveoflife.wordpress.com)