Research on the merits of practicing gratitude has shown what Eastern wisdom has known for thousands of years. We can change our inner and outer world completely through qualities of our inner spirit, like practicing gratitude. Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness, as well as better physical and mental health, reads a note from Harvard Medical School. “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships,” researchers write.
Imagine we program our mind when we go to bed, and we sit quietly and relax our whole body from head to toes and then breathe consciously till our mind comes to a state of quiet tranquility. Then we visualize all the good things that happened that day and we smile and pray and express our gratitude for all the happenings. Then we also remember the bitter experiences of the day when we were hurt, felt sad, felt little down for a while, and thank God for the lessons that we learned. Isn’t it true that we have the mix of pleasant and unpleasant things that cycle through our life every day, moment to moment, whether we want it or not? At night when we thank the universe both for the pleasant ones and also for the lessons that we learned from the unpleasant ones, we grow from inside; it invariably creates an atmosphere in our mind where we can feel at ease, feel less stressed.
Gratitude indeed is the language of God. We all have personally experienced the reality that when we helped someone and they came back to us and expressed love and gratitude, we felt so happy from inside. We felt so humbled. We always say, “you are welcome” which means deep down we always welcome gratitude in our lives.
Gratitude is a very positive energy. Whenever we feel deeply grateful to anyone, or the Divine, we instantly feel a deep sense of inner peace and humility. Happiness flows through us, and our body language changes completely. This happens for we are in the domain of higher energy and frequency, the moment we are having that feeling we are uplifted, and we start to attract higher thoughts and vibrations from higher worlds. When we are filled with love, all distance seems to disappear. We feel closeness. We feel oneness. We feel love and gratitude simply uplifts us to our own higher Self.
We all feel just the reverse when we are filled with negative emotions and unpleasant thoughts. We have the choice to either be happy or unhappy in life. If we choose to be happy there is no other way but to evoke the positive energy of gratitude for the millions of gifts that the universe floods us with, moment to moment.
Just imagine the blinking of our eye; we take it for granted and do it without even knowing it! It takes the coordinated effort of millions of cells in absolute synchronicity to create this miracle of blinking. Imagine the eyelid drops and has no power to lift, could we see? All our possessions and glory would disappear in a moment if we lose the sight of our beautiful eyes! Spirituality teaches us this simple thing in life, “be simple, be humble, be grateful, be loving, be who you are!” The wise ones always taught us that the biggest accomplishment in life is to be who you are, who I am.
The moment we lead a meditative life of simplicity and humility we find the whole nature comes to our support. Our inner energy of the spirit, which is the witnessing consciousness, is immensely powerful and is ready to shower us with all that we need in life to be truly happy. We all are seeking nothing, but through our efforts, we are trying to reach that point where we have an incessant flow of happiness that is not dependent on the unpredictable things outside of us.
Let us follow the universal language of love and gratitude. Let us recognize the hidden message of water. 70% of our body is water that needs to be kept pure. That is possible only when we understand that happiness and joy cannot be given to us from external sources; even if it is given, it can be withdrawn any moment. Hence, the only way open to us is to change our inner environment. If we live inside of us with a most sacred environment of love and gratitude, we can attract the abundance of the gifts of Mother Nature. We won’t need to be happy then, for happiness will flow from the inner fountain of life, at the base of spine, from our lower chakras to the higher, and our joy and happiness will spill forth in all directions, touching and healing those who are unhappy and afflicted. We will become the conduits of the Divine energy and healing for the world.
Let us worship gratitude, let us be the worshipers of love, let us be the worshipper of the light that is shining in each cell in our body as the Life Principle, and let us be one with the Universal Force that is Life in its beauty and holiness.
Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari (Kolkata, India): Globally acclaimed motivational teacher (mindfulness meditation, stress reduction) author, peacemaker (Man of Peace Award 2012) Visionary social advocate; founded Lokenath Divine Life Mission, 1985. Serves thousands of poverty-stricken individuals in India. (Lifetime Achievement Award, House of Lords, UK, 2015)