Spontaneous gratitude is a reflective sense of thankfulness, a frame of reference for work, relationships, and daily life in general. This all-encompassing approach to life can make you happier and healthier. It is a lens through which we see the world, which is different from just saying thank you to someone.

When something bad happens, try to be appreciative that things aren’t worse. It takes practice to connect with those feelings under duress. Jot down three things you’re looking forward to each morning or three things you’re thankful for each night. When so many in the world have no water, be thankful that you can take hot showers in the morning. Watching the sun create an interesting shadow, for instance — there’s joy in that, even if it’s only for a second. Volunteering to help someone less fortunate changes your perspective. It shifts your focus onto other people and away from your own problems, and it can keep you in a space of gratitude. If you want to do something to add meaning to your life and reward yourself with happiness and a renewed feeling of vigour, become a volunteer. Volunteering is reward in itself.

Being thankful can also strengthen your relationships with the people in your life. Simply appreciating people is something we don’t do enough of, and it makes all the difference. This positive attitude shift helps people overcome health issues, such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and diminish the effect of stress.

So rethink your world view. Pause to take stock of what you’re thankful for and start appreciating the little things in life. You will be thankful that just by doing so, you will also make significant connections with your family and community, success in work, and a happier and more fulfilled life.

I’m grateful to see a total stranger put a smile on her already beautiful face when her friend she’s been waiting for finally showed up.

I’m grateful to hear an innocent little boy sing a Christmas carol as he licked on his snowman candy and then shared the candy with his mom. And she smiled too.

I’m grateful that I have the leisure to notice little things like these, which unfailingly can put a smile on my face.

I’m grateful to share my seat with two little school kids with the most bizarre braided hair on my way to the dentist. And their teacher also said thank you for sharing my seat.

I’m grateful to share my seat with a young woman who had fallen asleep so peacefully beside me. And when I offered her my seat, a radiant smile shone upon her face before she went back to sleep.

It is our Godliness that makes us see the beauty of the people around us. And when it connects us with a smile or two, we realise that all along God has always been with us.


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