Gratitude a strong binding to achieve happiness

Mahadeep Singh Jamwal

Ordinarily we exemplify happiness as the fulfillment of our needs. In other words, happiness comes when we feel satisfied and fulfilled. So it is not rocket science to understand that happiness has a strong impact on our life. In Hindu scriptures happiness is defined as three types: Physical, mental and spiritual. In the Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita, happiness (Ananda) signifies eternal bliss. We can define life either better or worse and betwixt is struggle and it is the attitude that is everything, for better or worse. A negative attitude is almost a guarantee that life will be more difficult and less fulfilling than it should be. The concept of gratitude is as old as Greek Philosophy. It means the mutual understanding of gratitude of both the receiver and the giver. Gratitude means to know what others have done for us. “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” – Zig Ziglar. Further, a pessimistic outlook will adversely affect our parameters of life. This is why it is an important task for each person to help themselves take on the proper attitude. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in our soul. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines gratitude as the state of being grateful (Thankfulness), Dictionary. Com defines it as the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful and Collins Dictionary defines it as the state of feeling grateful, a sense of gratitude. Gratitude helps us to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into our life and into the lives of all those around us. Gratitude means thanks and appreciation. When we feel gratitude, we’re pleased by what someone did for us and also pleased by the results. Unlike indebtedness, we’re not anxious about having to pay it back. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” -Melody Beattie. Gratitude is a feeling that makes one great. In fact it is the highest form of evolution of a man’s mind. We realize actually what gratitude is only when one gains experience and wisdom. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. As a Hindu I am a believer of the faith that service should not be exhibitionistic. We must seek no reward, not even gratitude or thanks from the recipients of our services. People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. Gratitude expresses itself in looks, words and deeds. In almost all the relations of ordinary life the feelings of gratitude should be aroused. “Gratitude is the sweetest thing in a seekers life – in all human life. If there is gratitude in your heart, then there will be tremendous sweetness in your eyes.” Sri Chinmoy. It is our attitude that incurs contentment and emotions that are ultimately responsible for our happiness. Islam teaches us to be thankful throughout the day: for waking up from sleep, after eating our meals, drinking water, etc. In this way, one’s entire life revolves around gratitude to God. According to Islam, one of our foremost duties is to be grateful to God for all of his blessings that can be described in three levels of thankfulness: 1. to realize and appreciate all blessings by and within the heart 2. To say thanks with the tongue 3. To express gratitude by doing righteous deeds. Conversely, when we become entrenched in the ego or the illusory realm of separation of consciousness from our divine birthright, then gratitude eludes us. Guru Granth Sahib, directs us that when we are grateful for what we have, the universe will give more. Yogi Bhajan recites that “The only way a relationship between you and God can be established is if you become grateful and build up a standard of gratitude, only then will fulfillment come in life, only then can you be happy in life, only then will you be fulfilled in life, because in God we trust and in God we dwell. Buddhist understanding of gratitude is a humanistic impression and expressing gratitude is humbleness. Buddhist discourses states, a good person is grateful and thankful. For gratitude and thankfulness are extolled by the good. Gratitude and thankfulness belong entirely to the plane of the good person. Attitude of gratitude is when you are grateful for every breath of life. Dwelling in gratitude, there are so many things to remember with profound thanks. Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. It is the passion or sentiment that prompts us to reward others for the good that they have done us. We can easily arrive at the conclusion from the foregoing line that we must develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to us, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than our current situation. Of all the crimes that human creatures are capable of committing, the most horrid and unnatural is ingratitude. The greatest discovery of all times is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude. I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. Showing our gratitude can make all the difference in our relationship. I will lower the curtain with the words of Alice Walker that “Thank You is the best prayer that anyone could say” and with the words of Henri Frederic Amiel that “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of Thankfulness.

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