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True Gratitude-What is it and how does it relate to happiness?

While we may feel gratitude for the little things in life, it is not very often we stop and try to find true gratitude. We live in a busy, cluttered world that allows for us to create temporary joy and happiness through our connections to objects. I am guilty of getting sucked into social media, a world that seems perfect but in reality does not exist. I often wonder if I copy what these people do or what they buy if it will make me as happy as their pictures seem. These materialistic desires and wants for a connection to these objects will never last, we are chasing fleeting happiness, not concentrating on making deeper connections with those around us. This chase for temporary happiness through materialistic items can lead to negative affects on our mental and social well being. We, as individuals, need to become actively aware of both our lives and our surroundings and allow for ourselves to grow and connect with others.

This can be done by practicing true gratitude, which can create a more happy, stress free lifestyle. With true gratitude we create deeper connections to those around us, instead of looking for temporary meaning and happiness. But, by practicing true gratitude we can create deeper connections to those around us, instead of looking for temporary meaning and happiness. True gratitude is a state of mindfulness, it makes us look deeper into our selves and the world around us in order to make connections. By doing so we are becoming ever more present in our own lives, because we start to appreciate the present and stop trying to live in the future or worry about the past. This month I am trying to put my phone down to enjoy the company of my friends and to not concentrate on peoples carefully constructed online profiles. By doing so I am hoping to improve my relationship with myself and other and to stop the damaging comparing that I do with others online. By creating a more mindful relationship and the show of gratitude with ourselves we can become happier and more of a structure of support for those around us, lifting both ourselves and others up.

This week I challenge you all to practice true gratitude, and force yourself to live in the moment. For a few minutes each day let go of your worries and be in the present whether it be with family or friends. Stop and enjoy the falling leaves, the changing season and become more grounded in the life around you. Allow for yourself to create a deeper connection with your loved ones and create the happiness and positivity in life you deserve. Let yourself be grateful for this beautiful life.

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Sarah Cusack

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