Not a bad advice: choose to be grateful, it will make you happier, here is why.
One of the greatest benefits of practicing the feeling of gratitude is that it will make you appreciate everything you already have in life that much more. Practice of gratitude will make you feel better about yourself and your life. In other words, it will make you happier.
Practicing the feeling of being grateful regularly really helps to shift your mood. When I do it regularly, I usually find that my mood not only improves but I can stay in a good mood for much longer periods of time.
Please note the specific mention of feeling above. It’s easy to miss but it’s crucial to make it all work. Thinking the thoughts of gratitude is not that powerful in and of itself. The real power of you thoughts lays in the way you let them make you feel. When you invoke a feeling of gratitude, to the point you sometimes (often in fact) get the goosebumps, this will immediately make you feel feel happier.
That’s why some people argue that positive thinking does not work. It works for some, doesn’t work for others. I believe this to be true for both sides of the argument. I also believe that the missing secret ingredient is the feeling. If you want your thoughts to really change your life, you have to put some feelings and emotions behind them to give them real power.
Don’t let the word practice scare you. The practice of gratitude can be as simple as few minutes a day writing in your gratitude journal.
It can be as simple as repeating an affirmation several times, either silently or aloud as long as you remember to put a feeling behind it. It only takes a few seconds and can be done as many times a day you want, or whenever you remember.
Choosing to be grateful has also a more spiritual dimension
There is also a more spiritual dimension to practicing the feeling of gratitude. It opens the door to more abundance, love and happiness in your life. That is because the feeling of gratitude raises your vibration. The higher you are on the emotional scale (on average), the better you are tuned into the world around you.
Choose to be grateful as often as you remember.
You will start noticing the gifts that the universe makes available to you, like an income or business opportunity, or a good health (or healing) advice, or a soulmate.
When you are in a low vibration, worried, anxious and perhaps feeling that your life is not going the way you want, you are unable to see those opportunities, they just get right by you. Your vibration is not in resonance with the creative vibration of the universe.
That’s why, when we are in a bad mood and someone tries to cheer us up, we often might feel like just telling them to mind their own business (or select your own choice of words here LOL).
Care about the way your thoughts make you feel. This, I believe, is one of the greatest secrets in this life. The thoughts of gratitude and appreciation will certainly help.
Research on effects of gratitude
While the spiritual teachers, the sages and the philosophers have known and have been teaching about the benefits of practicing gratitude for thousands of years, more recently there have been numerous scientific studies conducted on being grateful and the connection to feeling happier.
Berkeley University of California reported a study conducted on almost 300 adults, all seeking mental health counseling, has found that a simple practice of writing one gratitude letter per week to another person for just three weeks, has improved the mental health of the participants. The effect was still significant even after twelve weeks.
Another study has found that “gratitude has a role in predicting happiness among college students”.
And there are thousands more studies available online.
It’s good to see that the ancient knowledge is now being validated by science.
A short list of the benefits of being grateful
Here is a short list of some of the benefits of gratitude:
- Being grateful can make you happier
- It can make people like you more
- It can help you see the opportunities you would otherwise just pass by
- It can help reduce harmful stress in your body
- It can help you sleep better at night
- It can make you feel better about yourself (self esteem)
In other words feeling gratitude can improve the quality of your life.
Many ways to practice gratitude
There are many ways of practicing the feeling of gratitude. The simplest way is to take a moment to thank God or the Universe (or however else you choose to label the Higher Intelligence) for the people and “things” that already showed up in our life.
It could be as simple as being grateful for food, clean water, the roof over your head, your great family and regular income. Or it could be that business you have built, or the investments you have made over the years. Or it could be feeling grateful for the country you live in.
You can also practice feeling grateful for the things you are still working on. This could be something as simple as thanking the Universe for the healing that is taking place in your body or your becoming more prosperous in some other way.
A gratitude journal is a really good way to help you feel the feeling of gratitude, by writing your grateful thoughts regularly and spending a few moments contemplating and feeling them.
HappierHuman.com reported that a five-minute daily gratitude journal practice can increase your level of happiness significantly and that the effect is cumulative.
That’s because “Gratitude makes us feel more gratitude. It is a positivity loop that increases this feeling over time.”
You could also place various notes around the house (bathroom mirror, fridge, doors, walls, etc.) that help you trigger the gratitude practice.
The beautiful thing is that you can keep it as simple (or as complex) as you wish.
Gratitude notes and affirmation ideas
Here are just a few simple ideas to get you started:
I am grateful for my soulmate and best friend [name].
I am grateful for my health.
I am grateful for my loving and supportive family.
I feel so blessed for all the good the universe keeps bringing my way. Thank you God.
I am so happy and grateful for …
Feel free to use any of the above affirmations if they resonate with you. But it’s best to come up with your own, from your heart. We are all different. We also respond differently to different messages at different times.
Here is a great video that may inspire you to feel grateful:
Some gratitude and happiness quotes
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” Gilbert K. Chesterton
“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” Amy Collette, The Gratitude Connection
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” Denis Waitley
“It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude. It’s gratitude that brings us happiness.” Anonymous
“If you want to find happiness, find gratitude.” Steve Maraboli
“The root of joy is gratefulness… For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” Brother David Steindl-Rast
“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Choose to be grateful on a daily basis. Even better, why not make a daily gratitude practice your next 90 day challenge? You will be amazed how much happier you will become in the process.
Until next time. Stay focused.