When we recognize that we are part of the total scheme of Existence, and that we are lovingly taken care of by Existence every minute, we are overcome with gratitude. We become truly thankful for what we receive every moment, even if it is as basic as the use of our very limbs and senses. Gratitude is your response to recognizing the abundance of Existence. It is a wonderful flowering energy within you. If there is one energy that takes care of everything in your life, it is the energy of gratitude! If you ever feel that there is something missing in your life, it is because you feel less gratitude.
There are many religions in the world today. Each of them emphasizes one particular approach such as prayer, austerity, surrender, etc. But there is one thing that cuts across all these and connects you directly to the Divine energy. That is gratitude!
Gratitude is the greatest religion.
When I tell this to people they wonder, ‘How can gratitude be a religion? Why should it be a religion? It can be a social habit but not a religion.’
Gratitude should become the very breath of a person, not even merely religion. Gratitude is a transforming energy. It transforms the happenings in you and around you. It is an energy that harmonizes you with the energy of the universe and brings back tremendous prosperity to you. With gratitude you will see that Existence simply responds to you, as if it is a live being. It is the channel to commune with Existence!
When gratitude happens, it works beautifully through the law of attraction and attracts great prosperity to you.
How is this possible?
According to the Law of Attraction, like energy attracts like energy. How does this apply to gratitude? Understand this: when you feel gratitude towards everything, it means you feel fulfilled, you feel blissful. So when you radiate gratitude, your energy of fulfillment attracts fulfillment back to you in the form of material gains, good relationships, good health and so on. This is how it works.
The important thing about this is that material gains, good relationships and such things are only incidental byproducts of gratitude. The main thing is that gratitude makes you resonate with Existence and transforms you into a beautiful human being.
Psychologists have studied the effects of the feeling of gratitude on people. In their first study, two researchers, Dr. Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, California, concluded that gratitude played a major role in a person’s well-being. Their study divided a few hundred people into three groups and required them to maintain daily diaries. The first group maintained a diary of all of the events that happened during their day. The second group recorded only their unpleasant experiences. The third group made a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism and energy. Additionally, the third group, which recorded gratefulness, experienced less depression and stress, had a greater inclination to help others, exercised more regularly and made more progress toward their personal goals. According to the findings, people who listed daily items of gratefulness were also more likely to feel loved. McCollough and Emmons also noted that the attitude of gratitude encouraged a positive cycle where one act of gratitude encouraged another.The findings also indicated that gratitude could work independently of faith. Though gratitude is a big part of most religions, they suggested that the benefits extended to the general population regardless of whether they had faith or not in any particular religion. They further suggested that anyone could increase their sense of well-being and create positive social effects just from counting their blessings.