Remind yourself of the last time you felt truly grateful for something. Was it about a person in your life, being able to run or the kind gesture of a stranger?
Being grateful for something can come in many different shapes and forms. Gratitude is the emotion you express for something you appreciate having or getting. It’s about recognizing the value of something without its monetary worth. It can be described as a spontaneously feeling or an affirmation of goodness, it starts with noticing the good in your life.
The opposite of gratitude – and what one might call “thieves of gratitude” – are narcissism, envy and cynicism. A culture of materialism, which is all about instant gratification, and seeing things as the source of happiness and constantly wanting new stuff is the opposite of being grateful for what you have. (This is bad, in case someone was wondering.)
Although gratitude in itself is a spontaneous emotion, research show that you can live a happier life by consciously make efforts to count your blessings. It is possible to train your brain to experience this wonderful feeling – and there are several personal and social benefits to do so. Yay!
You can feel grateful for your life in general, having a job and a stable income, your family, your pet (well ok – I know they’re family), colleagues, friends, nature and your health. This gratitude will impact your life, both on the inside and on the outside.
Appreciation boosts your happiness and will make a difference for both your physical and mental health. This applies even to those who might struggle with depression, or other mental issues. Over time, the effects of gratitude will snowball and, in a way, pay itself forward. Amazing, right?!
So go ahead – start a gratitude journal.
Write down three things each day that you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. Do this every day.
If you do it in the evening before going to bed you’ll probably sleep better since you’re focused on what’s made you happy during the day, instead of the stressful things that might have occurred.
What are you grateful for today?
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