We complain a lot about so many things, ever wondered what are the things to be thankful for in life? But first ‘What is happiness?’ This is a question that has been on everyone’s minds and tongues since the beginning of time. If we look for the clinical definition of happiness, it is defined as a ‘state of mental well-being associated by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from mild contentment to intense joy’. Contentment, enjoyment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, euphoria, bliss, jubilation….all of these words (and more) are mostly associated with being ‘happy’. But why do we always seem to ignore the best way to reach this state? Why are we always focused on why we aren’t happy, instead of focusing on how we can be happy? Why do we always seem to be unaware of the fact that through one simple act, every negative thing can be made a little bit better, every dark day made a little bit brighter? We are talking, of course, about gratitude.
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Gratitude – Things to be Thankful for in Life
Gratitude – one word that can carry the weight of worlds. Now, let’s consider this situation: you just saw a magnificent celebrity wedding on your TV. All the A-list stars were there, the press, the over-sized cake, the ludicrously-priced gifts, and the luxury yacht. And after you saw the whole ceremony, you start thinking ‘Boy, I wish I had all that stuff’, all your insecurities start acting up, you start questioning your life choices and the next thing you know, you’re standing on top of the Empire State Building contemplating whether you should jump off or not. Okay, that may have escalated a little too quickly, but did you feel thankful for the fact that you had a huge TV to watch the ceremony in the first place? You didn’t. Did you feel thankful that you had an air-conditioned living room with a comfortable sofa to sit on and complain all day? You didn’t. Did you feel thankful for the fact that you have a roof over your head and a family that loves you? You didn’t. Hell, did you feel thankful for the fact that you have enough power in your body to get up and turn on the TV or even cycle through the channels? You didn’t. But guess what? Many people don’t even have that. Only a fraction of the over 7 billion people on Earth have such a privileged existence. Saying that, this scenario doesn’t necessarily apply to you. But if you’re reading this, chances are you still have a lot of things you take for granted.
Thing is, in the social media-dominated age of today, we have in front of us an endless stream of ‘perfect’ people with the ‘perfect’ lives. We humans have a natural tendency to always focus on things we don’t have, and what this endless stream does is amplify this tendency. Instead of focusing on own lives, we’re always wishing to be like those perfect people, resulting in acute cases of thanklessness. No wonder everyone’s depressed. What we don’t see is that these magnificent Facebook and Instagram feeds are just flashy highlights from the lives of people who just know how to make themselves look good. What we don’t see is that behind all of those facades are normal people with their own issues and problems. Because here is the second thing: everyone has problems. You can’t not have problems. Some people just have different problems than other people. Now it’s up to us whether we let these problems get to us or we feel thankful for the things that we do have and work towards solving our problems.
Life isn’t Perfect – Things to be Thankful for in Life
Speaking of things we take for granted, if you have a relatively healthy body with properly functioning limbs, you already have something to be thankful about. If you have a job, no matter how barbaric your boss is, that’s another thing to be thankful about. If you have a stable family life, even if you’re struggling to make ends meet, you have something that many people would kill for. We could go on and on, but long story short: life isn’t perfect, expectations sometimes lead to disappointments and you don’t always get what you want. You can either accept these realities and be thankful for all the things that you have in life, or you could keep whining about what you don’t have and see where it gets you. Oh, and at the end of the day, we’re all going to die, but hear this: gratitude is where the satisfaction’s at. Look around and find the things to be thankful for in life. And let us know in the comments, what are you thankful for in life?