One of the most important lessons we learn in life is to be grateful, especially because the impact helps us shift our mindset for the better. It doesn’t have to be the holidays for us to express gratefulness. In fact, it something we should learn to practice every day.
We have times when we slip up and forget to be grateful with what we have around us, so there’s nothing to feel guilty about. What matters more is whether or not we are willing to continue making that change, even if it takes time. Gratitude isn’t new to us, but it takes a lot more than just feeling thankful to really be grateful.
Here’s why gratitude is important, and how it affects the way we think and feel.
How Gratitude Makes Happiness
Several studies in psychology show that gratitude is commonly followed by happiness. It includes an increase of positive emotions, improved well-being, better relationships, and overall a greater outlook on life. People who have shared their experiences across platforms commonly talk about how much more they value life after incorporating gratitude in their everyday.
You’ll find that those who are happier tend to also be grateful. The reason for this is because being happy is easier to do when it comes with gratitude. It allows people to become more understanding and considerate each time they encounter a challenge. When you look at a complicated situation with gratitude, you can quickly see what makes it a good thing -and that alone is strong enough to shift your mood completely, almost like it just eliminated the problem.
But gratefulness doesn’t actually cover up complications. It teaches you to accept that the good and the bad come together, and that turns you into both a happier person with a stronger mindset.
Learning to Live a Life of Gratitude
You can practice being grateful in whichever way you’re comfortable with, but take note that consistency plays a great role in living a life of gratitude. To really start living a life of gratitude, you will need to get into the habit of being grateful. And to that, you’re going to have to practice it often.
But remember that being grateful isn’t supposed to feel like a chore, you have to do it with sincerity. Further deepening your knowledge about gratefulness can help with that. In addition to practicing it, learning the meaning and importance of gratitude is likely to motivate you to keep it consistent.
Below are a few habits to help you get into the groove of practicing gratitude daily:
Take Notes and Reminders
A simple way to practice gratitude is by writing down little notes and reminders to yourself. You can put them on sticky notes and place them on your work area, or use the notes on your phone or computer. The prompts you write can be thoughts to reflect on, gratitude quotes, a checklist of tasks, and other similar ideas.
The aim of having reminders around you is to condition yourself into being grateful each day naturally. This would also be a good start if you have trouble keeping habits consistent.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal works just like taking notes and reminders but instead, you would have a proper record of your progress. Here, you can write down entries freely. People tend to use gratitude journals when they want to look back at how much improvement they’ve made. It also gives you an overview of how different your mindset has changed from when you first started.
With this practice, it doesn’t always have to be a physical journal. There are online platforms that work just like one available, such as Three Things Daily. It features an exclusive gratitude wall for their community, wherein members are allowed to jot down a list of three things they are grateful for each day. This encourages people to express themselves positively and through gratitude. That way, the community passes on the positivity to further than the people within it.
Being Grateful is Contagious
There’s a common saying from Steve Maraboli that quotes “smile at strangers and you might change a life.” Gratitude works just the same! When you express gratefulness to the people around you, the positive emotions that come with it are shared with them as well. Each time you show gratitude to others, whether it’s someone you know or a complete stranger, you’re giving them a share of happier emotions.
Being grateful for the people around us starts with appreciation that goes beyond being thankful for the things they do for us. Appreciating and showing gratefulness to others also means expressing you love and care of them in different ways. It doesn’t always have to be because you received something, rather you could be the one giving instead.
There’s Always Something to be Grateful For
Keep in mind that everything around you is a gift. Even a rainbow can’t be formed without a little bit of rain. We go through some rough days, but that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be anything to be grateful for.
Every now and then, let yourself breathe and just look around you. Take time to really appreciate what’s right in front of you, from the leaves falling before winter hits to the sound of water flowing in a river. Recognizing these small bits of nature gives you a better mindset with the way you appreciate what you have. Whether it’s something big or small, it could turn into something far greater. And that is beautiful.
To live a life of gratitude, we have to be committed and sincere. Gratefulness isn’t something we practice to make a part of our physical routine. It should be something we consider practicing to improve our quality of life and the way we present ourselves to others. There’s so much to learn and realize once you start looking at the world through the lens of gratitude. Once you do, you’ll see how truly wonderful life really is.