One of the most powerful ways to change the atmosphere of the mind is to cultivate gratitude in our lives. This means focusing our attention on what we deeply appreciate. Appreciation softens us. It soothes our turbulent minds by connecting us with the wonderful ordinary things which often go unnoticed. Appreciation takes some weight off our hearts, encourages us to look at the good around us, at the softness that life often throws our way.
There are endless number of ways to begin your journey with gratitude. Here’s one of them that we encourage at Happy Ho-
Step 1: Purchase 365 Thank You notes along with some colourful sketchpens, crayons, stickers & sparkle. Unleash the first grader inside of you!
Step 2: Keep the notes somewhere close to your bed.
Step 3: Each night, before going to sleep, think of that one person to whom you are thankful, for an act either big or small, and thank him/her, using your words & this note (not to forget getting creative with all the items the first grader bought in Step 1; one never gets too old for a little bit of sparkle!).
Step 4: Hand the note over to that person the next day. Or slide it under their pillow or inside a book they are reading.
Step 5: Follow steps 1-4 for at least a month, for the whole practice to become a habit
By following the above mentioned steps, I’ve been able to expand my gratitude to others and not just keep it to myself. I’ve sent thank you notes to family, friends, colleagues & my little golden retriever. I’ve returned the warmth shared with me by a waiter, librarian (ofcourse, I slid her note in a book I was to return), counsellor & an air hostess.
I’ve shown my deep appreciation for invitations, presents, shared moments of silence, fulfilling conversations, introductions made at parties, flowers delivered to my doorstep and many other little acts of kindness.
Each day we interact with so many people, both online and offline . And if we scan the past 24 hours, surely we can bring to light one person who has touched our lives.
Maybe it was a neighbour who willingly took your dog for a run each evening. Or a nurse who made your blood test hurt a little less. Or a woman who gave you her seat in a crowded metro.
Most of us are trying to be good and do good as we live our lives. And what a wonderful gift it is to send someone one of these notes and let them know that the smallest of their acts are worthy of appreciation. Sometimes, you don’t even have to thank someone for an act they did. You just end up being grateful for them being in your life. This is the magic of this practice!
So when are you stacking your bedside table with some thank you notes and filling your heart with lots of gratitude?