Gratitude is one of those things that everyone can easily use more of in their daily lives. It can come in many forms, such as thanking someone for serving you food or you saying thanks to another. It’s also a magical tool that can be freely utilized anytime.
But why should you bother?
The short answer is that expressing gratitude can be mutually beneficial for everyone involved.
Though we have every single day to be thankful about, we somehow tend to take things for granted. We forget to appreciate what and who we have, including those around us.
As Oprah Winfrey once said,
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
How Being Grateful Can Improve Your Life
Showing gratitude isn’t an innate human skill and can be difficult to practice, especially during times of stress. Paradoxically, showing gratitude is also one of the more effective ways to alleviate said stress.
Just try to recall how often you feel grateful when you are at your lowest point in life. Your answer is probably rarely or not at all, which is why it’s important to cultivate said skill, so it becomes automatic.
But what does being grateful truly means?
Being grateful means being appreciative of what you have/experienced, whether they are positive, negative, or neutral encounters.
We ,humans, have a tendency to focus on the negative when something unwanted happens. What if you turn your perception around and focus on the positive instead?
Genuine gratitude shifts your focus from future expectations back to the present moment. It can be something as simple as being thankful of having access to clean water, a bed, and food on your plate. And the magic that it creates can turn your frown upside down, your sadness into joy, and your frustration into a smile.
Note that we wrote genuine gratitude because superficial gratitude will not have the same impact.
How to Show Your Gratitude
Gratitude can take one of two forms: internally and externally.
The internal approach can be practiced alone.
Start with a list of things that you currently have and pick a few that you are thankful about having. It can be your health, your family, or your job. Take a deep breath, smile, and silently thank whoever or whatever comes up.
Showing gratitude externally is a simple as saying thank you to someone for even the simplest task. This person can be a friend, a colleague, a family member, or even a stranger.
Good times to practice being grateful include when you wake up, during your meditation session, and/or when you go to bed. In fact, anytime can be a good time as long as you are sincere about it.
Try setting aside at least 10 minutes of your time for this practice every day. It is important that you do not rush or feel obligated when attempting to express your gratitude.
Keep in mind that being grateful is not a cure-all to your problems.
Instead, being grateful requires figuring out how to carry on with your life with a positive attitude while not ignoring the problems in your life. Hardships are, after all, an integral part of one’s growth.
So what are you waiting for?
Start finding something to be thankful about right this instance (and make sure that it’s genuine).
You can thank us later.