What if I told you that you could be healthier, more successful, sleep better, have better relationships and experience a higher level of positive thoughts like love and happiness. Sign me up, right?!?! This is all possible if you practice gratitude. Yes, it’s literally as simple as that. The idea of practicing gratitude means that you are intentionally counting your blessings every day. This habit makes you a happier person day by day. This doesn’t mean that you can simply sit down one day and list everything you’re grateful for in life and expect to instantly have infinite happiness. It is, however, a great start and the longer you practice this, the more benefit you will start to see.
Being grateful is one of the greatest factors that instills positivity and overall well being in anyone’s life. Everyone deals with adversity, but it’s how you choose to handle that stress and negativity that makes the difference. This past year has been by far one of the worst years of my life, the stress I’ve had worrying about my husband and trying to hold it all together for our kids has been over the top challenging. Add to that our labrador retriever battling a rare form of cancer as well, a global pandemic and a world so divided and full of anger, and wow, IT’S A LOT!!! Not that I haven’t had rough times in the past. Losing my mom and dad within two years of each other, nine and seven years ago respectively was an incredibly difficult time in my life, being an only child and being so close with my parents. I survived though, I got stronger, and found a new appreciation for living life to the fullest. I reminded myself how fortunate I was to have had such caring and amazing parents and how blessed I was to have had as much time with them as I did. It made me really stop and realize how incredible my family, friends, and life truly was. Instead of turning inward and being depressed and angry, I chose to LIVE each day to the fullest and be GRATEFUL and positive. I’ve been following these same principles this past year, as hard as its been at times, but believe it makes all the difference in the world.
By accepting life with difficulties, you’re more positive and it makes you feel more resilient. This is HUGE when it comes to stress on the body too! The quicker you are able to bounce back or recover from difficult conditions the better. Instead of hearing bad news and having it cripple you, you’ll immediately focus on the positives and press on. You will develop a positive mindset about life after practicing it daily and BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE and not what you don’t have. You will start to recognize this “flaw” in others as well. You’ll notice them saying things like, I wish I had her/his body, why do bad things always happen to me, I hate my job/ boss/spouse, etc., etc., etc…. You will start to have a sense of awareness where you can see the positive side of any aspect (and start to see and avoid the negative side of others). Whenever I have something negative or bad happen to me, I immediately spin it and try to find some positive. Try this! It’s a serious game changer! Gratitude will help you detox negative vibes from your life and you’ll be enthusiastic to see what life has in store for you next. It will help you gravitate towards healthier relationships and other positive people too.
Research has linked gratitude with an increase in self-esteem, which could be a reason why can help you build new friendships and strengthen the relationships you already have. You have more confidence in general, making you more comfortable in all social settings and stronger at communicating which is key in any relationship! Because you have more confidence in who you are, you’re happier, honestly more easy going, people will naturally gravitate towards you. Grateful people also in general are less self-centered. They want to share what they have with others, whether it’s their time, sharing knowledge or actually giving them material things. Although, I should make the point though that they are less materialistic, a good trait to have! When you have gratitude it increases bonding, appreciation and intensifies any relationship, whether family, friends, or coworkers.
Better sleep, increased productivity and better overall wellbeing are all benefits from being grateful. It’s true! Before bed list in your mind the GOOD things that happened in the day. Letting go of bad thoughts and focusing on the good you’ll feel more relaxed without fear of uncertainty of each day. Also, with gratitude you’ll always see appreciation and support without making many efforts. Things like acknowledging the beautiful weather to the kindness of a stranger come naturally and when you practice gratitude, thus improving your wellbeing. You will not only lead a happy and healthy life, but may build a successful career too because you’re inspired to make more positive decisions. Gratitude benefits self-control in overall life which leads to a highly motivated and disciplined life. Goals become more important, you’re able to focus better and you’ll be more excited about what’s to come, to work ahead and enjoy life’s progress.
So how is it possible that being grateful can improve your health mentally and physically?! Studies show that people who are grateful have a good immune system. Your self awareness increases and you notice toxic habits (just like the toxic people I mentioned above) that are stopping you from creating the healthy life you want. Also, being able to control your stress level and how you react to situations is definitely better for your health! Gratitude improves mental health by giving you lifelong peace and happiness. You’ll have more control over your negative emotions. When expressing gratitude our brain produces chemicals which makes us feel good and your experience happiness from the inner side. 🙂
A thankful appreciation for what you receive, whether tangible or intangible, is GRATITUDE! With this you acknowledge goodness in your life. It helps you feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve your health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Why on earth everyone doesn’t practice this I’m not sure?! Here’s a quote I love by Zig Ziglar that says it all:
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”