“Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
“If only I had a job that paid more … If only I were born in a rich & successful family … If only I could afford a bigger house …”
So many of us live in a constant state of wanting more, more money, more clothes, more shoes, more purses, more jewelry, more makeup … Always more things. Things that we might not need, but want. And we chase after those material possessions with more vigor than we pursue what’s been practically shown to increase happiness, more joy, more experiences, and more time to appreciate who we are, our life that matters most. Studies have shown that rich people aren’t any happier day to day than the rest of us. In fact, many are more stressed and spend less time doing enjoyable activities.
So, let’s take this moment of time from our life to think about those people who hold us, understand us, support us, and care about us. Take some time to list the wonderful things that we have in our life for a change. Take the time to count our blessings. And think how our lives would be without these people, and things. And when we naturally will experience the appreciation of these people and things, Let’s get up and go express our gratitude.
Express our gratitude just in words but by our actions, deeds and the way we honor them by taking care of our lives. And there beings our first step towards living a truly happier and satisfying life.
Let’s start learning to appreciate what we have and stop wanting more, try these scientifically-proven strategies from psychologists:
A few simple things we can do to become a more thankful being and appreciate life more.
Always Appreciate What We Have by Practicing Gratitude
- Count our blessings, the things we have and the people who are always there for us (in person, morally, emotionally etc). People who are grateful are more satisfied with their relationships with friends and family. They’re happier, less depressed and less stressed. They feel more in control of their lives, have higher self-esteem and cope better when things get tough. We start living with more gratitude. We could write a thank you letter to someone in our life we’ve never properly thanked, or regularly write about three things we’re grateful for in a journal.
- In one study, a group of people was asked to practice this gratitude exercise every day for one week. Even though the exercise lasted for only seven days, when measured a month later, participants were happier and less depressed than they’d been at baseline, and they also stayed happier and less depressed at the three and six month follow ups. 🙂
Get to Know or Think Of Someone Who Doesn’t Have What We Have
- Think of something we own that you might take for granted, the beautiful clothes we wear every day, the trusty laptop we carry around with us every day. Now let’s talk to someone who doesn’t have those things. What’s life like for them? What difficulties do they face without the thing we don’t think twice about having? Research shows and found that connecting with people different from us broadens our horizon, compassion and awareness and deepens our sense of community. And we get to know people who don’t have the things we take for granted, it gives us an even deeper appreciation for what we do have. Enjoy what we have and do not cry and yearn over the things that we don’t have. But also work towards getting the things we desire. They will not come to us by being bitter. Work towards it, earn it.
Always Appreciate What We Have by Giving More
- Be charitable. Support those who are less fortunate, the next time we’re about to splurge on a new item for ourselves, think about spending it on a loved one or to charity. In a University of British Columbia experiment, participants were given $5 or $20 and asked to either spend it on themselves or on someone else. The group that spent their money on someone else reported significantly higher happiness levels. Be generous and help others. By sharing their problems that you can help diminish will help you appreciate the problems that you do not have. Offer to help others if and when you can.
Thank Others As Much As We Can
- Express and show our appreciation for the things they do for us. Send a thank you note, give a hug, phone them and let them know we appreciate their presence in our life.
I believe that all of us are too busy in our respective lives lost in our work, sorrows, pains, relationships and momentary self gratification my accruing materialistic things. We are too busy satisfying our bosses, our friends or loved ones, or just pampering our own self, our inflated egos, our sorrows and complexes. And being lost in this fast changing indulgence of momentary experiences of small satisfactions we often neglect the very core things, people, and experience that nurtures, feeds and holds our soul.
These are often the experiences and things that mater the most in our lives, which we unfortunately only realize after having lost them.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~ Marcel Proust
“The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.” ~William Penn
Remember to exercise our choices in life and choose to be positive and better. Not negative and bitter. Practice some self criticism in an effort to self improve always. Learn to look at our lives as an opportunity to do something positive as opposed to wasting it away in worries, anger, bitterness and hatred. 🙂
Bonjour Monday! Be Thankful & Grateful for a brand new week to come! 🙂