Gratitude is appreciating the good things in your life. It doesn’t always seem simple, though. When things are hectic or stressful, finding the positive can be challenging. But, learning how to embrace gratitude can greatly boost your happiness. Being grateful offers a ton of other benefits you’re probably not aware of. Let’s look at this concept, ways it can improve your life and how to practice it.
There are so many definitions of gratitude. Some people believe it’s a feeling or emotion. Others look at it as more of a mood. Still, some people believe gratitude is a personality trait a someone exhibits. These can all be correct. In essence, gratitude causes satisfaction and appreciation for a person through feelings, actions or even innate qualities. Still, even those of us who may be more apt to feel grateful on a regular basis through our glass-half-full-optimism likely need to work on evoking such an outlook.
Gratitude can be viewed as a practice or something you perform regularly. Most people practice something because it benefits them. This is true of gratitude. As with other practices, you’ll get better at demonstrating gratitude the more you work at it.
Benefits of Gratitude
There are tons of benefits with gratitude, and many of them have been scientifically proven (you know me, a scientist at heart). Once you understand this, chances are good that you’ll see why it’s so important to develop a grateful mindset. Gratitude has a positive effect on both physical and mental health. Research has shown it to improve relaxation, sleep quality and energy levels. Being thankful for your blessings can improve your emotional wellness. You’ll deal better in crisis situations and find you’re more resilient when you’re able to look on the bright side. This can contribute to better relationships, too. Appreciating the positives in life can simply make you feel happier.
Ways to Practice Gratitude
Recognizing your blessings may not be easy at first, but there are some ways to help make it a habit and a regular part of your routine. One of the most impact methods for cultivating appreciation is through keeping a gratitude journal. In this practice, you’ll write down three things each day that you’re grateful for, which makes it easier to notice and recognize those good things. Meditation has also been shown to help. Also, making an effort to thank someone each day, for even the smallest thing, opens your eyes and heart to abundance. Giving back and doing good for others can provide tremendous perspective, as well.
Now you have a better idea of just what making a concerted effort to count your blessings can do for your life. Embracing and expressing gratitude are more important than many of us realize.
If you want to find happiness, find gratitude. - Steve Maraboli