The Key Ingredient To A Happy Life
By: Kathy
December 23, 2012

There is one key ingredient to a happy life for which there is no substitute.  Every single person has the ability to have it, regardless of how bad their life may seem.  It costs absolutely nothing. . . no DVD’s to buy, no book to read, no seminar to attend . . . just a simple change in thinking, but unfortunately many people find it too hard to do.

What I’m talking about is gratitude.  Before you say “Bah Humbug” and slam your computer shut, I challenge you to read on.
There is always something to be thankful about.  Even in the darkest of days, we can be thankful for the joys we have had in the past, or the sunrise we got to witness this morning.  Once we’ve developed a focus on what we DON’T  have, however, it becomes ever so difficult to even be aware of what we DO have to appreciate, and this is a recipe for a most unhappy life!

Think about it.  What do you have to be grateful for on this day?  If you immediately think “nothing”, then I challenge you to dig a little deeper!  When we really look at it, we take SO very much for granted.  It is human nature to get accustomed to what we’ve got and to want more.   Unfortunately, our society feeds that tendency towards greed and unless we understand what is happening inside of us and do something to change the course, many of us will spend the majority of our adult lives grouchy and bitter.

Can you think of 5 things you are thankful for right now?  We often forget to be grateful for food, water, shelter, heat – we just assume they will be there and focus on the new furniture or car that we want or the promotion we didn’t get at work.

What about appreciating your health?  If you haven’t faced a serious health issue in your life, I can almost guarantee you take your health for granted!  What about your family’s health and safety?  Basic, everyday safety is very much taken for granted by much of our society until a tragedy like 9/11, Sandy Hook Elementary, or the Aurora Colorado shooting brings it back into our awareness for a few weeks. Then we go right back to taking safety for granted again.  And what about your relationship?  I can assure you there is something to be grateful for in your relationship, although you may have to work hard in order to admit it to yourself!

When we get into the habit of appreciating what we have, our lives begin to change!  Our countenance changes, our demeanor is lighter, we feel happier.  Small annoyances are not so bothersome and tension in our relationship is lifted.

Our blood pressure drops and we take fuller deeper breaths.  Gratitude has a profound impact on our mind, body and spirit!

When you feel that ugly dissatisfaction begin to creep into your spirit, force yourself to think of things to be grateful for right in that moment.  Having a continual spirit of gratefulness helps us to keep things in a proper perspective and see the truth . . . that everything we have, including the ability to keep breathing, is a gift.  If you were given that gift today, anything you get in addition to it is a bonus!