Having more gratitude is easier said than done. The hectic world in which we live in destabilizes us and prevents us from bringing our thought inward. It’s easier to struggle, place blame, and be unhappy in this world because everyone does it.
But gratitude can bring you out of your negative patterns of thinking. It can help you be a better person, a happier person. So how can you achieve that? Start with the article below.
Benefits Of Practicing Gratitude:
Practicing gratitude might seem like a New Age mumbo-jumbo concept to many self-proclaimed rationalists. However, the science behind it explains clearly the physiological and psychological benefits of practicing and expressing your gratitude.
- You are happier: focusing on the good things in your life helps your brain secrete happiness hormones.
- You are more reasonable: being grateful calms you down, relaxes your breathing, so you can think more clearly. That way, you have better control of your emotions.
- You are less stressed: with an even breathing and a normal heart rate, you are reducing the stress in your body. The happiness hormones your brain secretes, like endorphins and serotonin, help bring down your cortisol levels aka the stress hormone.
- You are healthier: with a clear mind, more oxygen to your bloodstream, and less stress, your organs can function properly.
- You can live longer: it’s a well-known fact that stress increases the risk of an untimely death.
- You can have better relationships: if you are a calm, positive person, people will want to be around you more.
1. Appreciate The Little Things:
Your life is filled with good things, but people forget how to be grateful for them. You may wish your house were bigger, your job more fulfilling or your kids better behaved. You might wish for more hours in a day.
Instead of focusing on that, change your expectations. Make your house homier with what you have. Allow your children to express themselves so they can be assertive grown-ups. Spend quality minutes with yourself and your loved ones if you can’t add more hours to the day.
2. Appreciate Your Challenges:
Complaining is an embedded habit in our psyches. You’re expected to complain about your job, your parents, kids, friends, neighbors, and partner.
It’s true that things and relationships can get a bit difficult sometimes. It’s not easy to wake up five times per night with a screaming baby and go to a job you don’t like every morning after your neighbors had a party until 3 am.
But complaining doesn’t make things easier. What makes them easier is bringing tough things into a new perspective: your baby needs your help, and you’re teaching it good attachment every time you comfort it. Your job may not be perfect, but it pays the bills. Your neighbors might be partying hard, but at least they have what to party for.
This new shift in perspective doesn’t mean becoming complacent. In fact, it allows you to cool off enough to find the true cause of your problems and therefore efficient solutions.
Maybe you can change the baby’s sleep schedule, aim for a different position at your company, or calmly explain to your neighbors the difficulties you’re having with their parties. If you are planning to upgrade to a bigger home and is facing a few financial issues, instead of complaining, the source for solutions. An approach many families take is to apply for Lending Bee’s Bridging Loan to pay for their new house’s downpayment and secure the property.
3. Be Mindful:
Being mindful centers you and brings you to the present moment. Conversely, fretting over things makes you forget who you are and what you’re really feeling.
Observe your breathing, focus on your physical reactions and your emotions. Accept who you are and be thankful for yourself. Think about your ability to cope. Allow yourself to feel any emotion you’re feeling.
This helps you calm down, so you can focus on the positives of any situation. Instead of trying to solve the negatives, you can work on your strengths until the negatives simply disappear.
4. Keep A Log:
Keeping a diary with the things you’re grateful for helps you through rough patches. When things get too messy to think of anything good, this diary reminds you about the things that truly matter to you.
Writing in your diary keeps your attention focused on the task, so you have no choice but to think about things you’re grateful for. You can write in your diary immediately after feeling gratitude for something, at the end of the day or at the weekends.
5. Be Kind:
Be kind to yourself and to other people. When you help others, you’re exercising your empathy. You’re gaining a new, objective perspective on the world.
This perspective helps you practice gratitude because you are more focused and rational. Being kind to others:
- Puts your own problems into perspective.
- It gives you a sense of accomplishment.
- It teaches you accountability.
- It gives you a sense of belonging to the community.
Being kind to yourself helps you accept yourself, so you can focus on your strengths and be grateful for them.
6. Stay In Touch With People You Love:
The people you love make you happier and give you more opportunities to be grateful, which also helps cultivate your sense of belonging, and, in turn, be happier.
Your loved ones will help you focus on the good things in life. They will be there in difficult times. You will always be grateful at least for their presence, if for nothing else.
Try to speak with them frequently, especially face to face. Social media has been shown to decrease your self-esteem and to make you more depressed, which doesn’t help your gratitude practice.
7. Bring Up Your Endorphins:
It’s irksome and disconcerting to search for reasons to be grateful when you’re miserable. It can throw you off the cliff and dismiss gratitude as a useless, impossible practice.
That’s why it’s good to bring up your endorphins levels before trying to find things you’re grateful for. Watch a movie, read a book, go jogging, indulge in a chocolate-mint ice-cream – anything that makes you happy.
These activities center you, relax your breathing, and help put things into perspective. If you’re new to practicing gratitude, it’s easier to do it when you’re at peace with yourself instead of when you’re overly emotional.