What does it mean to be grateful?


“Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have, we will not be happy – because we will always want to have something else or something more.” Dr. David Steindl-Rast

Gratitude is a state of being that can seem elusive for many of us at times. Instead of focusing on the good, on what we have, and on what we have achieved, we are focused on what we don’t have and what did not go right during the day. Gratefulness, for many scholars and philosophers, is directly related to one’s happiness and state of being, oftentimes serving as the defining difference between a happy and unhappy person.

Ultimately, gratitude is a mental state, rooted in positivity, that guarantees the person is always feeling thankful for what they have, see, feel, touch, and so forth. It’s a mindset. You are either grateful, or you are not grateful. Have you paused today to feel thankful for the roof over your head? The clothes on your back? Or have you focused on the coffee you didn’t get or that your paycheck was a day late? That is the difference.

So how can you live a life full of gratitude? Here are 3 ways to make it happen:

  1. Pause: We all need to take more time to really pause and take in the moment. We are so busy worrying about the next activity, the next day, or the next project, that we rush through the present. Especially given the fast-paced nature of our world today, there is no time to pause and look. You need to build that time into your day, even if it’s just for a few minutes every morning and evening.
  2. Look: Now that you are pausing, it’s time to look. What do you see all around you? What do your senses feel? Life is about enjoying the things that are given to us. We open our hearts up to the things that surround us in the present – it forces our hearts to open up and connect. When others are happy, we’re happier. We can create a happiness loop that never ends.
  3. Move: After pausing, looking, and feeling the present, now it’s time to be active in the present. We are presented with opportunities that we can use to make others happy. We can feel grateful for what we have, and share it with others. This is the final step in gratefulness that will make your heart feel fuller than ever before.

Would you say you are a grateful person? Do you try to see the glass half-full when possible? Do you lead conversations on a positive note?

Even if you are not grateful today, that doesn’t mean you can’t start living with gratitude tomorrow. If you follow our 3-part recommendation above, you can achieve a life with grateful intentions almost instantly. Here at Essence of OM, we are here to support you on this endeavor and supply you with a community that is persistently grateful.

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