When we live a life of gratitude we express appreciation for what we have, instead of looking out for what is lacking in our life. Studies have shown that when we deliberately cultivate gratitude that our happiness and well-being increases.
When we are grateful we count our blessings and remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in our life, like our loved ones, or maybe a stranger who came into our life and became a new friend, or someone who helped us out, gave us guidance or kindness along the way.
Gratitude shows us what is really important in our life. So next time we complain about someone not picking up their socks, we realize that we can be so grateful to have this person live with us, that we have a comfortable home to live in and that we are very lucky to have nice socks to keep our feet warm.
Gratitude turns “bad” things into “good” things. We might complain that we have to go to work and then we realize that we are actually very lucky to have work. I am not saying that you should just accept going to work when you dislike it. It is worth checking in with your needs and maybe your unhappiness about work tells you to change your career. So even a challenge can be a positive thing if we just notice and listen. Challenges are never comfortable and yet many let us learn and grow and we would not be where we are today if it wouldn’t have been for those in our life.
A wonderful way to bring happiness to others and at the same time to yourself is saying “thank you” to others. Take a moment and think of a person in your life that supported you, helped you, was kind to you in any way… Now if you wish go ahead and call them, write them a note or visit them and tell them “thank you”. You will make that person very happy and when we make others happy we make ourselves happy too. So much happiness… 🙂
Another wonderful way to focus on all the blessings in our life would be to start writing a Gratitude Journal. Setting some time apart at night before going to bed is a wonderful way to reflect on all the wonderful things that we experienced throughout our day. If you prefer to write in the morning I can assure you there is already plenty to write about, like the cozy soft sheets on your bed, your loved one that you wake up next to, the warmth of your comforter, the tweeting of the birds outside your window, etc.
May your daily practice of gratitude bring you tons of happiness!