I’m sitting in my sunroom today, on a beautiful sunny day, looking out over the bay, watching small boats sailing up and down and listening to childrens voices as they play in the nearby gardens. I found myself pausing in my enjoyment to reprimand myself for not saying thank you often enough. I don’t mean thank you in the sense of thanking someone for a favor that they have done. What I mean is paying tribute to the world in which we live which provides us with an abundance of everything and also infinite opportunities.
As a community in general we have drifted away from keeping one day of the week to rest and to say thank you for the abundance which we enjoy. Yes, I know that there are pockets within the community who still do this, but in the main the majority of people treat Sunday as a day to catch up, or to go to the supermarket, and so on.
Similarly, who in this day and age kneels at their bedside at night to say their prayers, giving thanks for what they have received and asking for guidance and help when it matters? Faith is an enormously important thing. Faith provides one with both hope and purpose. Life is a lot easier on the person who has these attributes as opposed to one who is faithless and fearful.
Whether or not you have faith in terms of a particular religion is not what I am really getting at here. I’m merely noting that faith, hope and gratitude are all essential to being happy in this life. You tend to find that these three things go hand in hand and also that people who are successful and happy experience these sentiments as a major part of their habitual nature.
From a psychological perspective if one focuses on giving thanks, this in itself directs ones attention to what you have as opposed to what you do not have. In a world where there are so many dissatisfied people, who always want more, one wonders if these people have ever learned to say thank you for what they have already got. And if they were to learn to do this simple thing, then it follows that they are most likely to become far more satisfied by their lot. This is an extremely easy way in which one can distract themselves from “not-enoughness” and instead focus on enjoying what they already have. It is an easy recipe for a much happier life.
There is also something relaxing and hypnotic about the traditional saying of prayers and giving of thanks. To go to a particular place to pray, or to kneel beside ones bed and to hold your hands together in a repetitive manner, creates an expectation of peace and relaxation. It is a habit which is associated with peace and harmony. It is also a way in which one focuses attention solely upon one thing. This is what I mean when I say hypnotic; hypnosis could be described as a state of relaxation at one with a state of heightened awareness or focused attention. The very act of saying ones prayers and giving thanks creates a hypnotic state.
Hypnosis is in itself relaxing. As you relax in trance you find that your body relaxes and so too does your mind. To spend a few minutes in hypnosis is like having a mental massage or a mini holiday. Once again, this is an easy recipe for a happier and more peaceful life.
I read a quote the other day which stated that to feel gratitude without expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. Saying thank you for the everyday things in our life is far more important to our well being and happiness than the majority of us acknowledge. We tend to be too busy and focused on superficial things to actually note things which have real importance and impact in our lives.
Let’s take a moment to relax, breathe deeply, hold our hands together, close our eyes and say a huge and heart-felt thank you for the abundance in this world and for the endless opportunities which we are lucky enough to be able to pursue.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in hypnosis for change.