We believe that gratitude is a key element to happiness.
Nothing in life works like gratitude to uplift us spiritually, to set and keep us on the road to recovery. Nothing is more powerful against negative emotions, or works faster to relieve depression, mend relationships, raise our energy levels, extend our life span, reduce stress or make us more productive.
And yet, when we’re stuck in our pride, our resentments or self-pity, nothing is harder to summon than an attitude of gratitude.
That’s one of the first challenges students here face: stepping away from the anger and frustration they feel at being here long enough to see something – anything – positive in the situation. Even if it’s just looking at a fellow student and thinking I’m glad I don’t have his problems… I’m lucky not to be in her shoes.
It’s easy to be grateful when things go our way, of course; when life is all blue skies and green lights. Not so easy when things sour and misfortune strikes. And yet, even in moments of intense pain and frustration, the tremendous benefits of gratitude are there for the taking. We just need to drop our hurt pride and self-pity long enough to consider our blessings: our health, our talents, our friendships, our material possessions, even our struggles and difficulties themselves and the opportunities they give us to learn and grow.
The attitude of gratitude is a choice, a willingness to let life’s difficulties recede while we embrace its gifts, big and small. Count your blessings not your troubles, said Dale Carnegie. There’s no surer way to happiness than that.