Benefits of Gratitude
There are many things we hear, read and see in the world which send us down a spiral of negativity. In fact, it could lead us into despair and a sense of hopelessness. While it is important to know about the problems in our world, it is not helpful to remain there. When we are able to see the world in its fullness then we can live happier, healthier, and productive lives.
Here are 3 benefits for having gratitude
You see the good around you
This can shift your thinking from what is wrong to what is working. This also leads to a growth mindset. Where can I develop myself? How can I grow from my experiences?
You develop a more balanced perspective on the situation you find yourself in. The reality is we will have struggles. There will be moments of grief and pain. Seeing goodness around you opens up opportunities and potential solutions.
When your attention is on the goodness around you then you are more likely to smile. Have you ever heard that it takes fewer muscles to smile than it is to frown? Using fewer muscles gives your body more energy to experience joy and peace even in the midst of a storm.
You have more to talk about with others.
Your pool of conversation starters increases by an exponential amount. The best part is the creation of opportunities to laugh with each other. Laughter has healing power. If you are struggling and in pain, find something that brings a smile to your face.
How to Learn Gratitude
For some, this might seem easier said than done and it is true to an extent. Sincere gratitude will change your mindset. In order for that to happen, you have to commit yourself to the process. This does not mean perfection. The more consistent you are with these, the easier it becomes. Set realistic goals for yourself.
Write down 5 things you are grateful for each day
Pick a set time each day to reflect on 5 things you are grateful for each day. These are not meant to be profound statements of gratitude. You want to think of small things. For example, the different colors of green you see in the springtime, a favorite mug you enjoy holding. As you get used to this exercise, challenge yourself to seek out 5 new things you are grateful for each day. This isn't a quick fix, the change is gradual.
Tell someone thank you for something they have done to help you.
Look for reasons to tell someone thank you. This has a twofold outcome. Not only does this help you in seeking reasons for gratitude but you also lift up those around you. For example, tell the young boy who held a door for you thank you. If he recognizes this behavior is good, he will likely do it again. What about the person waiting on you at the restaurant? If they see their actions are good, they are more likely to do it again. Or you say thank you to the person who let you go in front of them in the checkout line.
At the end of your day, reflect on the situations in which you said thank you. If you find that you forgot to tell someone thank you, seek them out, if possible, and tell them later.
Talk to someone and tell them:
Friendship and community are important for human beings. Find your people and share about things you are grateful for, made you happy and you learned. Try sharing these with others and asking them to share as well. If you have children, these are excellent questions to ask them, but be ready to share your answers with them.
I am always eager to hear from you, please share your gratitude practices with me at email@example.com