Gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving. The benefits of expressing gratitude are well-documented. A study found that making a regular and deliberate effort to record one’s blessings improves a range of outcomes related to mental health and overall well-being.
It can be really difficult to think of things you are grateful for when everything in your life seems to be going wrong. Countless studies show that for many people, finding a bit of thankfulness each day can actually increase happiness levels and decrease depression. By developing an Attitude of Gratitude, we can feel more fulfilled and joyful each day.
An Attitude of Gratitude is a regular habit to express appreciation for all different parts of life, no matter how small.
Here are the three biggest reasons why you need a gratitude practice.
1. Gratitude shifts your mindset
Waiting for life to change is a pretty passive solution. When you’re stuck in a problem mentality you miss out on all the opportunities for solutions that are knocking on your door every day, simply because you don’t even hear them or see them. Open your eyes to a gratitude practice and all of a sudden things start to fall into place for you.
2. Gratitude creates solutions
Adopting a gratitude practice takes you out of problem and toward a solution. It removes you from complaining mode and into a best-outcomes mindset. That’s a skill you need in your life and in your business decision-making.
3. Gratitude is contagious
When you’re grateful you tend to exude and share that contagious positive energy. Watch your words. What you say is usually how you act, so be aware of complaining and replace whines with positive words. Start with you, be the change and watch as the world changes around you and your gratitude practice.
As Howes puts it, “If you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.”
If the gratitude process is hard to get started, begin by asking yourself, “What could I be grateful for?”, and see if the ideas start to flow. Every day won’t be perfect, but focusing on what we are grateful for tends to wash away feelings of anger and negativity.
Paul Mills, a Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University Of California San Diego School Of Medicine, conducted studies that looked at the role of gratitude on heart health.
Among other things, he found that participants who kept a journal most days of the week, writing about 2-3 things they were grateful for (everything from appreciating their children to travel and good food), had reduced levels of inflammation and improved heart rhythm compared to people who did not write in a journal.
A Few Tactics To Develop Mindset (You Can Pick A Few Suitable To You)
• Wake up every day and express to yourself what you are grateful for.
• Start a gratitude journal – Express gratitude in this journal every night by noting the things that you are grateful for, proud of, and excited about.
• Acknowledge yourself for what you have done and accomplished in the last day/week/month/year. Instead of comparing yourself to others, give yourself credit for the big and small things you have been doing!
• Acknowledge other people and thank them for inspiring/helping/supporting you – oftentimes people wait their whole lives to be acknowledged (and yet it happens far too infrequently)!
So try adopting some of the above tactics, even just one or two, in order to develop an overall grateful mindset. It takes a bit of work, but having an attitude of gratitude is one of the most impactful habits for a fulfilling and healthy life.