Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart
Many days, I try to sit in a quiet place, maybe close my eyes, and think about all the things and people I’m grateful for.
When I take the time to do that, it does make a big difference.
But why is that so? Why should the simple act of thinking about who and what I’m grateful for make such a big difference?
Well, here are a few reasons:
Because it reminds you of the positive things that are going on in your life. It reminds you of all the wonderful people you have in your life, the material and many other blessings you have, such as the gift to be alive.
Gratiude can turn a bad thing into a good thing. Having problems at work? Be grateful you have a job. Having financial challenges? Be grateful you have a roof over your head etc. Showing gratitude can turn a negative situation into a positive one. It can make us a more resilant, stronger person.
Having a heart of gratitude reminds us of what’s important. It’s hard to complain about the little things when you give thanks that your children are alive and healthy for example.
It also reminds you to thank others. Just the simple act of saying “thank you” to someone can make a big difference in the other person’s life, and your life as well. People like being appreciated for who they are and what they do. It costs you little, but it can makes someone else very happy. And making someone else happy will make you happy.
Studies have shown that positive feelings like love, appeciation, thankfulness and gratitude releases “happy” hormones. Hormones such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine help lower your blood pressure, regulate your mood, makes you feel more calm and alert. So living a life of gratitude is physically healthy for you as well!
So, how do you live a life of gratitude?
It’s simple, it involves developing a mindset of gratitiude in your daily life.
If you think about it, there are endless opportunities to express gratitude, both privately and publicly.
One can show gratitude for loved ones, family and friends for all that they do in your life. You can show gratitude towards strangers by showing little acts of kindness. You can thank God or the universe for the gift of life. You could thank people around the world for all the things they’ve done to make the world a better place. It’s good to show gratitude towards yourself as well, for all the accomplishments you’ve made over the years.
So, what are some ways a person can invite more gratitude into their life?
Here are some good questions to consider:
What have others done that has benefited my life, even if I don’t know who those people are?
What relationships am I thankful for?
What am I taking for granted that, if I stop to think about it, I am grateful for?
How can I be thankful for the challenges that I’ve experienced? What did I learn from them?
How is my life different today than it was a year ago? How can I be thankful for those changes?
What insights have I gained that I am grateful for?
Who do I appreciate? Why?
What material possessions am I thankful for?
What about my surroundings (home/neighborhood/city/etc.) am I thankful for?
What opportunities do I have that I am thankful for?
Where can I help people more?
How can I say thank you more?
The benefits of gratitude are clearly great.
For yourself, it can be a symbolic way of giving back.
For others, your gratitude is a mirror: a recognition of appreciation, encouragement and can be an inspiration to them.
Gratitude can give you real clarity and focus on how your successes came to be.
It can also give you the confidence to do the other scary tasks at hand and thus enable you to continuously catapult your life forward.
So with this in mind, I’ll leave you with this little prayer of gratitude which sums it all up:
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~