The Power of Gratitude

<img src=Can gratitude really affect how your day goes? 

The short answer is – YES!  Absolutely.  It can make a huge difference to start off your day filled with gratitude. 

I know…you’re probably thinking “easier said than done”, right?  Especially when you’re living in a not so ideal situation; bills piled up, bank account is depressing as hell, you have a job you don’t like, you may have a family to raise and support, problems after problems after problems.  How can feeling grateful make a difference?  How can you even find something to be grateful for, when every day you wake up, your life seems to be the same or feel worse?

But here’s the thing about gratitude, when you find something good in any challenges you face, it does move the dial back a little bit.  Believe it or not, it changes the momentum of all the negative things happening around you.  It’s like hitting that pause button and forcing yourself to look at the flip side of things.

Again, you’re probably thinking, HOW??? 

When you practice gratitude, you are placing yourself in “a state of being grateful.”  That means, you notice, acknowledge, and recognize the good things you have in your life.  Yes, we all have problems, some more than others.  But on the flip side, we’re also surrounded with “blessings” we missed to notice because we’re so engrossed with looking at everything wrong that’s happening around us. 

One of the most important lessons I learned from Abraham Hicks is that when you find yourself in a bad situation and you feel the momentum as if it keeps going downhill, you can either go with the flow and hang on till you reach the bottom, OR you can start shifting your energy and your focus on something – anything! – that feels good to you.  

When you wake up in the morning and you acknowledge the fact that you’re still alive, you’re breathing, and that the day ahead gives you plenty of opportunities to restart, refresh, and do something different – that’s one of the best ways to shift your mindset and focus on the good things that lies ahead.

When you go down the list of all the things that you do have; a car or access to a transportation, a job, food, roof over your head, a bed, warm blankets, electricity, fresh clean water, friends, families, a cellphone that keeps you connected to the world, etc. These may be insignificant, mundane things, but they are something to be grateful for.  You may not have everything you think you need, or want, to be happy, but you have what you need right now to live in the moment.

There are also other ways of practicing gratitude.  Prayers, meditation, mindfulness – just to name a few.  Some people like to keep journals.  Some like to make a vision boards.  Some like to keep a reminder of their affirmations of gratitude by posting it everywhere, or carrying it with them.  Whichever way floats your boat, do just THAT!  It can’t hurt to try, if anything, it would only help shift your mindset and focus on something good, rather than dwelling on the challenges and problems you face every day.

In addition, there are also benefits in practicing gratitude, here’s a few to consider.  

 1.  Overall, it improves our physical health.  Grateful people often report that they sleep better and experience less pain and body aches.   They’re also more motivated to exercise and eat healthy, which in turn helps boost their immune system. 

2.  It improves our psychological and mental health.  Since gratitude acknowledges all the good and positive things around us, it shifts our mood and helps lower anxieties, depression, and stress.  It helps rid of toxic mindset, and the negative feelings attached to it, such as regrets, resentments, self-pity, and frustrations.  Being grateful also helps you keep focus and optimistic about the future.

3.  It improves our relationships with ourselves and othersGrateful people also see the good in others by acknowledging them.  It helps form and strengthen new and existing relationships by showing more appreciation, acceptance, love, and empathy towards another.  It lowers our urges to be combatant and aggressive.  Gratitude also improves our relationship with ourselves, because our own happiness is also important.  It elevates our self-esteem and self-worth by acknowledging our own accomplishments, no matter how big or small it may be. 

Practicing gratitude sounds easy (and it is!), but I think the hardest part of it is making that commitment to put it into practice every day, AND training our mind to see the good in every situation we are in.  Sometimes that’s not easy to do, and that’s ok.  Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, what’s lacking, what you don’t have and see in front of you, rather, focus on what you do have.  You may be surprised that what you have, is really all that you need to feel happy and satisfied right NOW. 

 

References:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude

https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-gratitude-practice#takeaway

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