Did you know that there is scientific evidence showing that gratitude can actually change the brain, boost the immune system, reduce stress and improve heart health?
Life is a series of problems that have to be solved ― and a lot of times those problems cause stress. Gratitude is how you combat the stress life throws your way.
Imagine that … something as simple as how we think about our lives and the people in them actually has a profound impact on our health! Practicing gratitude is simple and free. It requires next to nothing from you, and yet it fills you with a host of positive benefits that almost nothing else provides.
But gratitude isn’t just saying thank you to someone when they do something kind. It is developing an awareness of the good things in your life and expressing your thankfulness regularly, even if just in the mind. The more often you are aware and think about expressing gratitude, the easier and more habitual it becomes.
By practicing gratitude on a daily basis, you can expect a number of amazing benefits in your life, including:
Healthier psychological well-being
More self-confidence and overall outlook
Most people have some sort of morning routine. It may include exercise, prayer, meditation, reading, journaling, and more. It should be fairly simple to add gratitude to that morning routine. While you’re sipping coffee or doing yoga, start thinking of things you’re grateful for. Thank the universe for this new day, the shining sun, or the awesome night you had the night before.
Keeping a gratitude journal makes awareness possible. You can become a hunter of the good in life, always looking for the next thing to jot down. Some people keep a journal by their bed to write in at the end of their day, while others go all out and keep a journal in their bag or briefcase so they can write things down as they notice them throughout their day.
A gratitude journal is a great idea because it keeps everything you are aware of in one place. Then, on those hard days, you can look back and read everything you’re thankful for, and remember to express gratitude for them again.
Actually thanking people can be the hardest part of practicing gratitude. Sometimes it means stepping out of your comfort zone. But, it’s important to share that gratitude with others and to let people know that you are grateful for them. Not only does this help you to become more confident and grateful for people, but it also helps to make your relationship with them stronger.
When you go out of your way to thank someone, you are showing them that you are aware of them. That’s something that everyone needs.
Anger can rear its ugly head anytime and in any place. It causes heartache, mistakes, and can actually bring the bearer of the feelings into a bad place. When you feel anger rising up, use gratitude to cool the flames. It’s not easy to feel anger and thankfulness at the same time, so use thankfulness to combat those angry feelings.
Complaints are another weapon that causes harm. People complain about their children, their spouse, their job, and more things that bring them down and give them a negative mindset. Whenever you feel compelled to complain about something, express something you’re grateful for instead.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all your family’s laundry that you need to fold, instead of complaining, say “I’m thankful for this laundry because it’s a sign of my wonderful family having their needs met.” When you turn your complaints into gratitude, you’ll feel much better and have a more positive outlook on life.
Take a few minutes before bed or in the middle of your day to just sit in silence and think about things. As something comes to mind, express your thankfulness for it. Silence doesn’t take much time or effort, but it can do wonders for you.
Let’s face it; hard things will happen in life. The measure of a person is not in whether hard things happen, but how they respond when they do. When the hard times come, look past the trouble and find something good that has come from it.
Maybe you’ve met someone new, maybe someone was able to step up and help you, maybe you just observed a beautiful bird as you were dealing with the circumstance. Whatever the case may be, find something in the midst of your hardship to say thank you for, and remember, this too shall pass.
No matter who you are, gratitude is a practice that will literally change your life. It’s not a difficult thing to practice, though it may be a bit confusing at first. When you start to look for things that you’re thankful for, you will begin to wake up to your life. Your awareness and positive feelings will change your mindset, motivation, relationships, health, and overall well-being.
Before long, you’ll understand why gratitude is essential and how it is truly a way of life.
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