Most of us are looking for ways to be happier, and one of the quickest pathways is through gratitude. Most people think gratitude is being kind and saying thank-you. While that’s a good start, there’s a way to use gratitude for happiness on demand.
One of the easiest ways to ramp-up feelings of gratitude is enjoying something through our senses: taste, touch, sight, sound and smell. Imagine how you would interact with the world if one of your senses was missing. You would have to rely more on your other senses to make up for the one missing. This would alter your perspective, and you would experience your world in a new way. So what does all of this have to do with happiness?
When we alter our perception of everyday experiences, we find a deeper meaning and a new appreciation of them. To better understand this, let’s imagine you need to tell a blind person what a red rose looks like. How would you describe the color red? Could you use the sense of touch to describe heat since red is a “warm” color?
What about the rose’s delicate petals? Maybe you could have this person touch a piece of satin. How could you get the person to see the decadence in the rose? Could you give them a taste of dark chocolate? How could you help them see the rose’s timeless beauty? What if you played a classical piece of music?
Describing something so simple through each of the senses makes us stop and appreciate what’s so easy to take for granted. We tend to underappreciate things like roses other than on Valentine’s Day or anniversaries. A daily practice of gratitude is simple if we take a moment to slow down and focus.
Practice using this technique for several minutes each day and become aware of the subtle changes in your attitude. Eventually you’ll become happier, and you’ll feel your inner spark again.
Having gratitude is like laying the foundation of a house. The foundation of true joy and happiness starts with feelings of gratitude. Make it a habit to spend 10 to 15 minutes a day looking out your window. Watch the leaves on the trees softly blowing in the wind. Notice how the sun illuminates your front porch. Appreciate everything you see. And before you know it, you’ll experience gratitude’s full power—happiness.