• Akhila Balasubramaniam

Gratitude is fun because

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

I never imagined myself writing about gratitude, because I found it preachy and no one can be told to be grateful, they should feel it. But now, I found a practice that's quite fun so here goes 🤓

I've been thanking God since I was 3 or 4 years old and I was quite a pro back then. But when I reached double-digit age, I struggled to keep this up.

What I did earlier and why it didn't work for me

I used to give thanks for the things that I thought I took for granted.

"I'm thankful for being alive, for having a bed, a house, a job, clothes, food, etc."

I tried to recognise my necessities, which are luxuries for some. It seemed to be guilt-tripping me for having these things that others don't. It's no wonder I didn't bother to keep it up.

What I do now instead

I switched the question to what/who made me smile/laugh today? And what about that incident made me happy?

Now this, I LOVE! If you love reflection and daydreaming, this is the best combination!

For instance, these are my thoughts when I reflect on what made me smile today:

The song I was listening to on my commute! I've got a special kind of love for Tamil songs. It's something about the lyrics and the musicality of the language. I always mouth the lyrics and that gives me a high :D

There's something so sweet when you hear crystal clear enunciation woven into a beautiful melody. 😍 And when the singer pronounces something funnily, it's a mandatory discussion topic with my friends.

While listening, I also choreograph a dance for it in my mind and imagine myself acting and dancing for it.

I'm so glad I have a 40-minute train journey to work to dwell in my fantasy world without any distractions.

I have enough thoughts to write ten blog posts when I reflect. And that's how gratitude is supposed to be! Once you start, it should flow. You'll only be motivated to continue if it's earnest and authentic to you.

These are simple things, but it's so easy to miss noticing them. It’s an effortless way to train our minds to focus on the positives. When I’m not mindful, I cling on to all that didn’t go well and the million things that I didn’t get done. Reflection helps me feel centred and more often than not, go to bed on a positive note.

Enough preaching, go daydream.

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