Your life is perfect just as it is, there is so much you can be happy about.
Gratitude aims at showing you how wonderful your life is and how you can be more aware of it. Studies show that making gratitude part of daily life boosts psychological health, enhances empathy, and improves self-esteem. It’s about focusing on what’s good in your life and being thankful for what you have.
You will feel instantly happier and for the long term because you will be happy for tangible and durable reasons.
So in this lesson, we will answer three questions about gratitude. What are the benefits? How it works and how do you practice it
What are the Benefits?
Gratitude is considered by mental health professionals as the most powerful tool you can use to become more positive. It is a simple yet efficient way to change your outlook in life.
When you are grateful, you leave behind the sentiment of never having enough. This feeling of always wanting more comes from our incapacity to appreciate what we have. On the contrary, we tend to put our focus on everything we don’t have, everything we wish we had, everything we think we need and everything that is supposed to bring us happiness and joy.
Happiness and joy are not provided by material goods or temporary mood fixers. It is through the process of challenging the way you think and creating a new, more positive one.
Now, I’m aware that sounds very technical and complicated. It’s actually very simple and within reach for anyone who really wants to improve their overall contentment.
How does it work?
Gratitude consists simply in looking at what you have and being grateful for it. By this, I mean that you need to genuinely look at aspects of your life you are happy about, the parts of your life that you take for granted.
You need to express gratitude for those. Be thankful that you have a loving family, a great group of friends, a roof over your head, at least three full meals per day. You can also be grateful for the sunny day you spent outside with your loved one and the fact that you got up early and avoided traffic on the way to work.
This way, you train your brain to put its focus on everything that made your day special. After a while, you will be so used to think about what you’re grateful for that you will realise you have a great life. You have plenty. You will feel less and less the need to complain about what you don’t have anymore. You will be too busy being happy with what you have.
The key here is consistency. I recommend making it a bed-time habit.
How do you Practice Gratitude?
You start by listing three to five things we are grateful for that day. Every single evening, before sleeping, remember what you are grateful for. It can be as simple as “I am grateful for the delicious dinner I ate” or “I’m grateful that I got a compliment I received today”.
I recommend you create a gratitude journal. Choose a notebook you will entirely dedicate to gratitude. Every day, before bed, write down three to five things you are grateful for. For example, “I am grateful that I could hear a bird singing while waking up this morning” or “I am grateful for the chance of having a family I love so much”.
The rules are as followed:
- It has to be something for which you are truly grateful.
- The statement has to start with “I am grateful for…” or “I am grateful that …”.
- It has to be done in writing.
The third rule is there because to make something real you need to either write it down or tell it to someone else. This is how your brain is going to compute it as real.
You have to make the effort to consciously be aware of all that is great about your life. This will put your attention on the positive side of your life.
As a result, over time you will notice how your way of thinking will change. You will be happier and more positive in your everyday life. Your stress level is going to drastically decrease. Your confidence will improve. Overall your life will be better.
You see, this simple trick is enough to change your outlook on life and gain freedom from negativity.
All you need is the will to do so.