Gratitude is a hot topic when it comes to personal development, and for good reason. Expressing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to increase the joy-factor in all areas of your life.
Gratitude is a mindset that anyone can develop or cultivate. Focusing on gratitude is one of the best things you can do for your mindset. It will help you adjust the lens through which you see the world, and unlock the door of joy in your life!
It’s easy to feel gratitude when life is flowing with ease. Yet when life is less than ideal, an established mindset of gratitude can really help you through those tough times. You’ll know in your heart that better times are ahead.
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Gratitude feels good AND it’s also good for us.
Science shows that gratitude has big payoff.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, gratitude helps people:
- Feel more positive emotions,
- Relish good experiences
- Improve their health
- Deal with adversity
- Build strong relationships
Those are some pretty major benefits! And they can all be yours for making a conscious effort to appreciate what you have.
How do you practice gratitude?
Practicing gratitude helps people focus on what they have instead of what they lack. The goal is to train your mind to look for things to be grateful for and be more positive.
Thinking about gratitudes is good, and writing daily gratitudes is better.
The benefits of writing gratitudes (instead of only thinking about) are:
- You create new neural pathways, so they’ll have a bigger, long-lasting impact.
- When your write and/or reread your gratitudes, your brain will feel like it’s reliving the experience and you’ll get a boost.
- You can reread your gratitudes when you’re having a bad day, and get a boost whenever you really need one.
I have found that a habit of gratitude has me looking for reasons to be grateful throughout the day. And as I find reasons to be grateful, I grow attentive to more and more reasons.
Every morning or night (whichever fits your daily routine best), think about your day and recall three good things that happened.
- Did you eat something tasty?
- What caused you to laugh?
- What things went well?
Whether these good things are big or small, dwelling on them will help you grow the joy and happiness in your life.
Even when life is less than optimal, stop and find something simple to be grateful for in the situation.
- Not happy with your job? Be grateful for your friendly co-workers or for the income it provides.
- Is the weather too cold? Think about how the sun came up this morning, trees are standing tall, and birds are chirping.
Start your gratitude practice TODAY! Download my free Daily Positivity Journal page to write your gratitudes.
Writing gratitudes may feel artificial at first, but your mindset of gratitude will grow stronger with practice.
Gratitude Journals – Click to View on Amazon
What Gratitude is NOT
Life comes with positive and negative emotions. A practice of gratitude is not a replacement for processing your negative feelings or experiences.
If you feel disappointed or frustrated and haven’t processed that feeling, then layering gratitude on top of it will feel like you’re pretending… and that won’t be as effective.
If you catch yourself saying, “I should be grateful” – that’s a good queue that you have some feelings to work through before you can reach for gratitude.
Gratitude Unlocks Joy
Life comes with good times and bad. Choosing thoughts of gratitude can help you build a solid foundation of joy so that you:
- Better appreciate life’s good times
- Move through the not so good times with more ease
Gratitude has the power to change the state of your mind. Empower yourself with gratitude.
Please feel free to share your thoughts of gratitude in your life in the comments below.