Build daily habits that focus on using gratitude to get happier.
Gratitude is a way to quickly pivot from one negative feeling to a more positive state of mind.
Everyone faces struggles and strife in their life, especially now. Some people are just so good at dealing with the stress, that it seems like their life is perfect.
Although establishing healthy practices is super helpful, no one’s life is perfect. Let’s face it, some days are just better than others.
Given how hard life can be when your luck is down, it’s easy to fall into a slump. At times like these, feeling sorry for yourself is natural, even inevitable. But it can quickly become a problem if it goes on for too long.
Dipping your toe into the slump in order to feel what you need is an essential and important step to recognize a loss. However, you can’t stay there.
Staying too long in a slump can turn to depression, which can consume you. So, it’s important to learn ways to replace self-pity with more useful feelings.
Gratitude is a simple concept, but not always easy to put into practice. Being thankful for what you have and training yourself not to focus on what you don’t have is not easy.
Many of us are trained to focus on what is missing in our lives. Establishing an attitude of gratitude helps us stay present to what we do have and take a minute to be grateful for it.
Practicing gratitude reminds you to pause, put down your worries and stresses, and take a moment to appreciate everything good about your life. It can also manifest as being glad that someone or something is part of your life.
Here are 6 benefits of gratitude you need to be aware of.
1. It strengthens your relationship.
If you’re grateful to have a special person in your life, you’re less likely to take them for granted.
Practicing gratitude for them and for other things in your life makes you happier. And when you’re happier, you’ll more likely nurture your close relationships.
2. It improves mental and physical health.
People who practice gratitude are more likely to eat healthy and exercise.
A good diet and regular activity have been known to improve mental health as well as physical health. Living a balanced life is the key to success and happiness.
3. It tempers anger and increases kindness.
It has been proven that one cannot feel anger and gratitude at the same time. Aggressive behavior is less likely when you’re feeling grateful.
Gratitude also encourages you to express kindness toward others. Shifting out of anger or any other negative emotion can be as simple changing your thoughts from negative to positive.
4. It boosts self-esteem.
When you have strong relationships, you feel better about yourself. Self-esteem is the result of building awareness and doing hard things.
Focusing on what you’re grateful for boosts self-esteem.
5. It helps you sleep easier and better.
When you’re grateful for your life, you are less stressed. Too much stress can have a negative effect on sleep.
Therefore, practicing gratitude and building in prayer and meditation brings you into a calmer state of mind.
When you meditate, you produce more theta brain waves, which mimic those available in deep sleep. So, gratitude helps you sleep better.
6. It changes your outlook on life.
Optimism is a positive side-effect of regularly practicing gratitude. If you’re focusing on the good things in your life, you worry less about the bad things.
Test it out and ask a random sample of your friends who’ve created a gratitude practice. Generally, those who spend time in gratitude will report a much more positive, “glass half full” approach.
A great way to help you focus on gratitude is to establish a journaling practice. This process becomes much easier when you do it regularly. But creating a habit in a vacuum is hard, not impossible.
And as much as we’d like to believe it, thinking about something is absolutely not doing that thing!
So, try to incorporate easy solutions you can remember to practice gratitude in your life.
Whether it comes naturally to you or not, feeling grateful is something you should work on every day.
Here are 8 of the many ways to build habits to practice gratitude.
- Tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them.
- Keep a gratitude journal to jot down your grateful moments.
- Thank restaurant employees, clerks, and others for their service.
- Avoid negative social media posts and news. Unplug!
- Take care of yourself with downtime.
- Develop healthy habits.
- Live in the present, not the past, or the future.
- Add inspirational quotes to your office decor.
- Focus on your strengths, not your shortcomings.
Establishing a gratitude practice is not just recommended, but it truly will improve your quality of life.
Practicing gratitude is about being present and counting your blessings, and it can chase away your feelings of gloom and anxiousness.
Life balance is only reached when consistent practices are in place. Gratitude can be a part of your daily plan and practice to create sustained joy.
Another easy way to build a daily habit focused on gratitude is to start consistently meditating.
So, get quiet, be reflective, and be grateful. Don’t think about it, just get started today.
Previously published on YourTango