The world looks entirely different when viewed through the lens of gratitude. We spend so much of our time complaining, seeing only the bad, and wishing things could be different.
If only I have more money, then I’d be happy.
If only I had a husband, then I’d be happy.
If only I lost one stone, then I’d be happy.
If only I had the car, the clothes, the house, the kids, the aesthetic to share on social media, then I’d be happy.
We’re putting our worth and our happiness up for debate. We’re attaching terms and conditions to what a good life looks like. We’re all making a mistake.
Yes, it is true; we all have a natural negativity bias. (It sucks!) We are naturally, biologically wired to see more bad than good; to focus on the negatives. But this is no excuse. We are all able to actively rewire our thoughts and shift our focus.
We can choose to see the good.
This is where gratitude comes in. By choosing to be grateful for what you have, do, feel, see, or whatever else, you are actively shifting your focus. You are saying, “I know I could worry about this or that, but I’m so grateful for these other things right now and that’s more important.”
Why practice gratitude?
Brings more goodness into your life
If you are grateful for what you have, you are in the right headspace to attract more of it. If you hate yourself and everything you have, your ungratefulness will not then attract better. Instead, it will bring more of what you don’t want. Simple, right?
“What you appreciate, appreciates.”
“What you focus on, you attract.”
“Where your mind goes, energy flows.”
Makes others feel good
Remember that time you did something for someone and they weren’t grateful? Yeah, it didn’t feel good, did it? The same goes for the universe (or God or whatever else). They don’t feel good when they give you things and bring you goodness but you’re not grateful for it.
Your friends, your family, and your universe will appreciate it when you are grateful for the things or situations that they give to you.
Shifts your focus
As I said, when you are in the space of gratitude, you aren’t feeling sadness, scarcity, anger, resentment, or jealousy. You feel abundant and joyful. Actively choosing gratitude is choosing to shift your focus to see the good, and once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
Gratitude is a practice, but over time, it becomes a natural muscle that’s used again and again to see the good over the bad.
Makes you feel good
It feels good to see the good. It feels good to finally see the truth of your life, your circumstances, and yourself.
How to practice gratitude:
- Make it a daily practice: each morning or night, list three things that you’re grateful for (try not to say the same thing each time; take your time to feel the gratitude, too)
- When something good happens, thank someone: the universe, God, your mom, your partner, your boss, your friend; anyone.
- Appreciate the little things: take some time to notice the little things in your life that are actually a big deal; your health, your pet, your bookshelf, your partner’s hugs, the sun shining, the birds singing, the tap giving you water…
- Be mindful and aware: appreciating the little things takes a certain amount of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a great tool for calm and perspective. Be aware of what’s around you, what you feel, what you see and hear. Be mindful and I promise that you will feel grateful for the small things.
- Keep a journal: expert gratitude practitioners will keep a gratitude journal; you can just jot down three things you’re grateful for at the end of your regular journal entries. Documenting it helps you to look back to find the good when you’re in a low place.
- Do it with a buddy: like at Thanksgiving when everyone says what they’re thankful for, get a buddy and each day, take 5 minutes to say what you’re grateful for.
Today, I am grateful that you found this post and read to the end. I am grateful that I have the ability to write for you all each week.
What are you grateful for?
Watch my video on Gratitude here