Did you know that expressing gratitude for what we have in our lives has a significant impact on our overall health and happiness?
Sounds like rocket science, right? NOT!
But truly, it’s crazy how many of us forget to express gratitude each day, especially for the things that we are fortunate to have in our lives.
I guess, it’s probably because they’re no longer a novelty. Things like our family, our friends, our health, our houses our education or even our pets.
We have also become so focused on being busy, and on all the things we don’t have yet. This causes us to feel stressed and overlook all the amazingly wonderful things we do have.
Whether it’s wanting more money, travelling somewhere new, a new job, cooler friends, a new car, a bigger house, etc… the list goes on.
Our brains have become wired to notice and remember the things that are wrong in our lives.
It’s a survival mechanism, that once served to protect us (back in our cavemen days). But, now has less significant importance only causing us additional stress, pain, suffering and unhappiness.
This is why it is important to train our brains to focus on positivity and gratitude.
What is Gratitude?
Being “positive” doesn’t mean walking around whistling, wide-eyed and smiling like a clown…. especially when you’re feeling lousy on the inside.
That’s just fakery and is not going to help you by any means.
It’s also not about ignoring your reality or pretending that things are wonderful when they’re not.
To express gratitude you need to flip your natural urges on their head (Eg. focusing on the negative) and instead, choose to focus on all the amazing things you have already in your life.
Say thank you for:
- The company of your family and friends each and every day
- Having a steady job to earn an income (Many people around the world don’t have this luxury)
- Access to hygienic food and fresh water (Consider the poverty of 3rd world countries)
- A secure roof over your head
- The freedom of a car for independence
- Having a comfortable bed to sleep in at night (Many are homeless & don’t have this luxury)
You get the idea.
There are SO MANY things to be grateful for!
This is why it is important to take a moment out of your day (even just 5 minutes) to list out and appreciate all the amazing things you have already achieved up until this point.
The Benefits of Expressing Gratitude
Dwelling on negative things fuels unhappiness, depression and anxiety whereas teaching yourself to notice, appreciate and anticipate goodness can be a significant happiness booster.
Research has shown that gratitude helps you to:
- Experience more positive emotions
- Decrease depression
- Become more aware of the abundance in your life
- Feel better about yourself on the inside
- Improve your relationships, and
- Strengthen your immune system.
According to HelpGuide.org, a recent study even revealed that gratitude can make you smarter with how you spend your money. Well, that’s pretty awesome, hey!
How to Express Gratitude
1. Give Sincere Thanks to Others in the Moment
When someone goes above and beyond for you or does something to make your day easier, ensure to say a hearty “Thanks!”
It doesn’t have to be anything crazy or over the top, just be quick to verbalise your thanks and appreciation.
Not only will it make the other person feel good, but it will also give your happiness a boost.
Give it a try and see how you feel!
*P.S> Watch this Video*
I love the video below. I almost listen to it every day as part of my morning routine because it reminds me of all the things to be thankful for.
You go Denzel Washington!
It gets me feeling all passionate, motivated and emotional every time….
Maybe it will have a similar impact on you?
2. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Rather than focusing on all the negatives of your day, take a moment to write down all the good things that happened.
Writing down what you’re grateful has been proven to help you feel happier, more connected to others and genuinely appreciative.
It also helps to bring to light small things that may have happened during your day that you overlooked at the time.
To be completely honest, I personally haven’t created a gratitude journal myself, but others do claim that it works for them.
I find that physically recording myself repeating a list of what I’m grateful for and then replaying it to myself each morning is also a really awesome way to do this.
Give both a go and see what you think works best for you.
3. Shift Your Mindset – Look for the Positive
Despite it hurting at the time, even the most painful events from our past can teach us positive lessons for the future.
Rather than dwelling on how sh*t something was, focus on what you learned and how it made you a stronger, wiser or more compassionate person now.
If you struggle with dwelling on the negative in life, check out our steps on how to Overcome Limiting Beliefs in 4 Simple Steps.
This would be a great next step for you!
4. Express Gratitude Through Meditation
I love taking a moment in my morning to reflect on all the amazing things in my life.
Mindfulness Meditation is the technique I use to express gratitude daily.
Meditation is great because it helps you build a habit of expressing gratitude and can help to calm the mind, promote relaxation and improve focus during your day. It also has many scientifically proven health benefits in addition to boosting health and happiness.
If you’d like to learn more expressing gratitude through meditation, a great place to start is with our Mindfully Happy Handbook.
Get your copy of the Mindfully Happy Handbook today and learn how to live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life through:
- Building a Positive Mindset &
- Overcoming Limiting Beliefs that hold you back from achieving your true potential.
Not Ready For the Complete Handbook?
If you’re not ready to jump in and get the complete Mindfully Happy Handbook, but would like to feel happier and healthier in your life, ensure to sign up for our Journey to Happiness Checklist.
This checklist will give you a list of simple and easy activities you can incorporate into your day to live a happy and healthy life.
It won’t teach you the “how“ as this is covered in detail in our Journey to Happiness course. But it will give you an insight into the “what”, and some simple activities you can try.
Enter your details below or via the link above to get your FREE checklist.
Next Up: Read our Article on 12 Simple Tips to Live a Healthy & Happy Life