by Jon Biddle

One Magic Word: Gratitude.

When life is drudgery, it is easy to look around and wonder why we have to be grateful. Yet gratitude is a key ingredient to a balanced life, a happy life. Gratitude fosters positive thinking. Why not use this powerful, yet easy to forget, magic word to help you grow your happy meter?

Gratitude is a powerful magic word that reduces depression, tension, and dis-ease. We can define gratitude as being thankful or appreciative of blessings we receive. Negative thinking inhibits our ability to appreciate the good things in our lives and increases our tendency to focus on the negative.

This self sabotaging, depressive thinking is common statistically, among women. Yet, the good news is, we can turn it around. At the beginning of the day and end of the day, whenever you hear that still small voice in your head telling you to focus on gratitude, say thank you.

During your day, as you catch yourself worrying about things you have to do, or things that could have been done differently, check your inside, and say thank you. During the day, before getting out of bed and before getting in the shower, stand up, look up, reach up, and say thank you. Do it when brushing your teeth, before getting dressed. Do it before eating and before going to bed. It might seem a lot, but let your mind think for a second. If you’re in a negative cycle, how many times do you think things are not good enough – even yourself, your partner, your kids, the commute, the toaster, the coffee machine, the dishwasher… the list of self-abuse is exhaustive as it is extensive. So hang in there with me.

The magic of gratitude is this: when you focus on what you have to be grateful for, it becomes much less stressful. And it becomes much more of what you have to be grateful for. Instead of wavering back and forth between providing ungrateful thoughts of yourself as not good enough, and dis-eased thoughts of stress, you can move through your day and see yourself as truly abundant. Gratitude becomes the proverbial cat on the right tree. Many people say they should be grateful for the life they have. I find they are in direct conflict with what their own inside voice tells them. If you say you should be grateful for the life you have, but strive to provide thoughts and actions that will make you unhappy, like not preparing for a job interview or not saying hello to everyone who crosses your path, you have conflict. And this conflict, from the inside out, prevents you from being truly happy. With gratitude, you are in touch with your own inner source, and the essence of the universe supports you. Some say that if you throw yourself into your work like a dog, you will find happiness. People look for happiness where they are not. They strive for it where they are not. If you are trying to go about your day as if you were taking a test, you will not find it where you are. You will try to force it where you are not. You avoid it at all costs.

Our right is to be happy. It is up to us to make it so. By being happy, the problems of life cease to exist. If we cannot enjoy life then we feel our lack of happiness and so feel the need to search for it elsewhere – maybe drugs, food, gambling, TV, sex; yes sex from a co-dependant addictive point of view is as damaging as booze.

Ultimately, this happiness can only come from within. It is a choice, and one of great strength. What means the most to you is currently something you’re focused on. This is because it is fundamental, at your core, what makes you human.

Help find this happiness.

You deserve to be happy. It is so simple, so natural to the human experience. Something that all of us need to experience at some time in our life.

It is happiness.

Of course it is not the only definition of happiness, but it is the best one you can aspire to. It is real; it is the potential, and it is always you and me in the middle of the path to it. Welcome to the path and make it what you want it to be. Doors will open to unlimited possibilities. The path can be ahead, or behind you, but when you want to explore, it is always where you are already and always have been.

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