“We thank you for our daily bread” – People all over the world of varied religions thank the Lord on a daily basis in their prayers and actions. We teach our children to say thank you as soon as the little angles can talk. But do we understand what these two words really mean. Saying thank you and feeling gratitude may not be the same thing.
In today’s hectic and competitive world, there is so much negativity floating around that it is easy to get taken in by it. Pessimistic attitudes lead to chronic depressions and a negative mind is actually a magnet for ailments and sadness. We often complain about what we do not have and take for granted what has been provided to us.
All of us at some time or the other have felt let down, held on to a grudge or simply hated someone’s guts. Most of us feel that life has not been fair to us at some point or the other. Comparisons with those who we feel are doing better than us are inevitable and make us feel like we got the raw end of the deal.
“I was sorry that I did not have shoes till I saw a man with no feet”. This oft mentioned saying needs to be given some thought before we start to moan in self pity about what we do not have. So pick up the threads of your life and start feeling grateful for the things that you do have as opposed to moaning about what you do not have.
The power of gratitude works on the brain. It helps release the negativity in our mind. All functions and feelings of our body are controlled by the brain. When we express gratitude for things our brain feels positive.
As we start to walk up this road, our spirits rise and we are filled with positive feelings that make us happy and content. Gratitude can actually help you combat diseases too. Most physiological diseases have their roots in unhappiness and depression. The body is more susceptible to ailments when one is feeling low and depressed. When we feel thankful for all that we have our self esteem rises. This in turn provides the body with strength to fight against ailments. A body that is fighting germs as well as depression and low self moral is like a country that is facing civil war as well as external attacks at the same time. Needless to say the defense gets divided. If the mind is calm the body can divert all its resources towards external attacks.
But simply saying ‘thank you’ is not the answer. One must learn to feel gratitude deep inside. It is necessary to feel privileged and lucky to have the things that we are feeling thankful for.
Simply put the power of gratitude is the answer to most of our problems today. So the next time you are feeling low simply count your blessing, one by one.
Vishal P. Rao runs the Stress Management Forum, a place to discuss strategies and techniques to manage stress in daily life.