The world that we live in today is very difficult. There are many things that we can encounter with that can take away our happiness and joy. Terminal illnesses like cancer, death of loved ones, economic instability, and old age are some of the things that affect us daily. What is worst is that the majority of these circumstances are not in our control and that can make us feel even more helpless and powerless.
However with that being said there is one that we have the ability to control and it shapes our lives more than we think. As Winifred Gallagher a neuroscientist once said: “The quality of your life depends and the quality of your thoughts”. Expressing gratitude is a way of producing quality and uplifting thoughts. The following article will give insight as to how being grateful makes us more joyful even despite our trivial circumstances.
Imagine that you have been told by your doctor that you have cancer. There are extremely few experiences more frightening than being diagnosed with cancer. The thought of thinking of the days of chemotherapy, constant pain, and surgery is enough to make even the happiest people paralyzed with fear and anxiety. Winifred Gallagher was diagnosed with cancer and a nasty one as she describes but through her years of neuroscience, she gives valuable insight into attention and focus. In her book Rapt, she writes: “Who you are, what you think, feel and do, and what you love- are the sum of what you focus on”.
What we give our attention to is what makes our reality. When tribulation and challenges fall upon us, the more we think about them the more they worry and affect us. The more they negatively affect us makes we think about our problems. Soon we are now in an endless loop of destructive and negative thoughts which is effect makes our lives seem unbearable and maybe not worth living even. However what if we did the opposite? What if instead of focusing on what is wrong in our lives we focus on what is right? Then the same thing happens.
What it does
When we start expressing gratitude and looking at the blessings that we have, it gives us peace of mind, a clear head, and joy. This makes us think about our blessings more and we begin to realize that our life is filled with blessings and worth living. For example, realizing the fact that we are alive, can see, touch, taste, hear, and smell. The fact that most of us have a roof over our heads and the fact that we have friends and family. These are some of the things that we should be grateful for because their are some people in this world that do not have that.
Gratitude is a powerful way to can change our perspective on life. It allows us to focus on the positives and see the blessings that we have, even in difficult circumstances. When we make a conscious effort to express gratitude, it can lead to a greater sense of joy and peace in our lives. For Winifred Gallagher, her focus was not on the cancer but as she recalls, what mattered to her was her family, friends, work, spiritual life, movies, walks, and 18:30 martini (Gallager, 2009). She says that the year she was diagnosed with cancer was not the easiest nor the most challenging, but it was undoubtedly her most focused.
To conclude this article it is worthwhile knowing that although it may not always be simple, it is worthwhile to deliberately show gratitude every day. To sum up, expressing gratitude is a way that can aid us in conquering even the toughest of situations. By concentrating on the good things in our lives, we can shift our outlook and attain more happiness and serenity. It is true when they say that happiness is a state of mind. We can put our minds in that state through the power of gratitude.