Having an attitude of gratitude means that you make it a daily intention to express thankfulness in every part of your life. Gratitude is essential to staying in the now. And it’s good for you. Gratitude can help to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and decrease overall chronic pain levels. Read on to learn how to create a gratitude mindset no matter where you are in life right now.
WHY GRATITUDE IS IMPORTANT
Gratitude Relieves Stress. It’s hard to be both stressed out and grateful at the same time. While you can’t always choose your circumstances, you can choose a positive in the midst of it by practicing gratitude every day.
Gratitude Focuses You. In our technology and social media driven society, it’s very easy to to look at what others have and feel like we don’t measure up. Maybe you’re on disability and struggling to make ends meet. Or maybe your friends get to take fabulous vacations every year. Or you look at the carefully curated social updates on your feed and think that everybody has a great life except for you.
But when you embrace gratitude, it helps you to stay in the present and focus on the most important things in life, such as your family, friends, pets and community. Remember, your relationships matter far more than any material thing you might want.
Gratitude Energizes You. Without gratitude, it’s easy to slip into the victim mindset. You tell yourself things like, “I’m just destined to be a loser. I can’t have an amazing life. I’ve never had it easy, so why should I expect anything to change?”
Gratitude empowers you. Instead of being the victim in the story, you become the hero. You write the ending. You’re one who overcomes the odds to build a fulfilling life.
MORE POSITIVE BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE
Gratitude is so much more than a mood booster. It can transform every aspect of your life if you’ll allow it to. Here’s some ways that gratitude can help to improve all of your relationships.
Gratitude Heals. In long term relationships, it’s easy to focus on what your spouse is doing wrong or how you feel your friend is never there for you. But harboring these types of attitudes can create a negative loop of thoughts. Maybe you think your husband is lazy. And you keep letting him know. But the more you tell him this, the less he tries. This can set a negative pattern that goes on for months.
Instead of focusing on what others should or shouldn’t doing, think about how they care for you and what you love about them. And then let them know. For example, you might say to yourself, “Yes, my husband just plops on the couch when he gets home from work. But he works so hard to provide for our family and I’m so thankful for that.”
Gratitude Strengthens. You may not realize it but when you’re grateful, it shows up in your relationships. For example, if you’re grateful for your husband, you’re likely to demonstrate this without even realizing it. You take the time to listen to listen to him and make the time to do enjoyable activities together.
When you express gratitude in your relationships, the other person feels valued and heard. As a result, they want to bless you, too. Often, this creates a continuous cycle of generosity that contributes to positive feelings on both sides.
So let your loved ones know how much you appreciate them. You can do this by thanking them for something they’ve done or who they are. For example, you might thank a friend for bringing you cookies after surgery. But you could also thank her for being so thoughtful when you were in the middle of a difficult time.
Relationships are precious and irreplaceable. Spend some intentional time letting a loved one know you care.
HOW TO CREATE A GRATITUDE MINDSET
A gratitude journal will not change whatever’s going on in your life, but what it can do is to alter your life perspective. A gratitude journal is a worthy investment of intentional time and effort. A gratitude journal is simply a space to record what you are thankful for.
By simply writing down the things that you’re grateful for, positive energy is fostered and increased. While the mundane and unpleasant aspects of life will still exist, they may become dim in the light of a heightened awareness of goodness and wonder. Keeping a gratitude journal can make life burdens feel lighter, or at least more balanced.
If you’re on a mission to start journaling this year, a gratitude journal is a great place to start. With this type of journal, you can write as much or as little as you want every day, use any type of notebook, and just write down what you are grateful for.
Gratitude journals are simple by their very design and are often quicker to write in than full out personal journals. If you don’t have time to write out a full journal entry, just scribbling down some quick thanks is perfect. When you are feeling depressed or are having trouble seeing the light, go back and read your previous entries and gain a new perspective on all that is right with your life, both past and present.