Gratitude by Navina Anand

Today, ‘gratitude’ has become a buzzword in the self-help junkie’s bucket list of things ‘to do’- BE GRATEFUL. This is why we find a lot of social media photos today with the caption ‘Feeling blessed’ blah blah etc. It is accepted as the quality that could make your life happier. It is like ‘meditation’. Feeling grateful will elevate your happiness index. And of course, no matter how happy we all are, we all want to be happIER isn’t it ? Hence the happiness gurus advise us to have a ‘gratitude journal’ where you write everyday about what you are thankful for, say a prayer every night thanking the higher power for all that you have been given etc.

Well, not all of us have the patience to maintain a gratitude journal and not all of us are in the habit of saying a prayer every day as a thank you . So then, how does one know if they are being thankful for their life ? “Of course , I am grateful for my life. I have a great job, good family and all is well”, you say. I don’t need to maintain a journal for it or be vocal about it every day . I know in my heart that I am grateful. But are you ? What do you think is the yardstick for you to judge yourself if you are a grateful  person?

I believe that , our ‘Complaino metre’ is a good indicator of how thankful we are for everything in our life. Every time you complain you are definitely not being thankful for something.  Every time you talk to someone, are you complaining about someone or something in your life ? The traffic? The weather? Your husband? In laws? The annoying boss? Every complaint in the ‘Complaint Register’ is the opposite of an entry in a ‘Gratitude Journal’.  And the debits and the credits keep getting set off against each other. And whatever outnumbers the other is the NET HAPPINESS FACTOR IN YOUR LIFE.

I think it would be an interesting experiment to journal for a month on the things we complained about and the things we commented to another about how thankful we were  for something. Maybe it can be a simple note on your smartphone .  14th March- Thankful for the yummy pizza. Complained about having to cook in the middle of too many work commitments. Net happiness – 0? It would be a good read at the end of the month to see if we are drawn more towards focusing on the good or the bad in our lives.

If not enlightening, it could at least be an entertaining read and an insightful experiment into how you think. So, how is your happiness index today ?

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