Gratitude: The Antidote for Misery (Happy World Gratitude Day 2015!)

We live in a world of commercialism where we are constantly inundated with advertisements planting seeds of desire and perceived need into our often vulnerable and easily manipulated minds. Weakened by our desire and longing to experience true happiness, we are easy targets for advertisers who cleverly market products and services to us by dangling the enticing prospect of happiness in front of us.

The media is constantly concocting new and innovative ways to assure us that buying their product will lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. We are continuously bombarded with advertisements from the moment we wake up and turn on the morning radio, to the gigantic posters plastered on the buses we see on our trip to work or uni, to the eye-catching side bar adverts on Facebook, to commercials on TV, all reminding us of the infinite list of things we don’t have but must ‘urgently acquire’.

Commercials will have us believe that the key to our long-term happiness is a mere few trips to the solarium, a gym membership, a larger apartment and a new car away, whilst dexterous and charismatic salespeople will have us convinced that the latest iPhone or laptop are essential for securing a prosperous and happy fulfilled future.

If I spent any of my time dwelling on all the material possessions I don’thave, I would surely be paving myself an express path to despondency and dismay. So instead of this, I make a conscious effort to concentrate on all of the wonderful things I already do have in my life, and remind myself that I am equipped with absolutely everything I could possibly need right now to achieve the things I am destined to.

In order to counteract the materialism epidemic spreading through today’s society, we need to actively acknowledge and appreciate all the splendid things we already have in our lives.

Putting the Theory into Practice

Devise a list of ten things that you have in your life that you are thankful for – they may be simple things like having a loving family, good health, great friends, or even an umbrella in the rain!

It is also important not to overlook what we take fore granted in our everyday lives, like having enough money to buy something we want, having a safe and warm place to come home to after a cold and rainy day, or for having enough food and water to survive.

Gratitude is the antidote for misery. When you are counting your blessings you are too busy to be counting your problems. If you’re constantly in a state of appreciation and happiness, misery does not cross your mind.

…Try taking just a few minutes out of your day to make a note of what you are grateful for and see how different you feel!



Miya Yamanouchi is an empowerment counsellor with specialist sexual health training who has extensive experience assisting men and women across Australia to discover and embrace their authentic selves. Miya has practiced in a variety of specialist counselling roles both while undertaking her clinical training and honing her skills as a health professional, including Drug & Alcohol Counsellor (DrugArm Australasia), International Student Counsellor (The Australian Institute of Professional Education), Sexual Health Counsellor (Impotence Australia) and Sex & Relationships Counsellor (The Australasian Institute of Sexual Health Medicine). In addition to her role as a counsellor, Miya is also a Reference Group memberfor The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, a Network Coordinator for The Mental Health Professionals Network, a Blogger for The Kinsey Institute,  a YourTango Expert for New-York based international sex and relationships online magazine YourTango, and Social Media Content Creator (Instagram) for The Sydney Feminists. Miya is a published author with Penguin Group, and has also had her online articles published across the globe including The Americas, Europe, Asia, and all the way to West Africa.