Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. -Melody Beattie
Positive psychology research indicates people who practice gratitude and appreciation experience lower levels of stress hormones and enjoy better physical health.
The practice of gratitude can help you maintain positive feelings, even when faced with challenging situations and events. You may tell yourself that practicing gratitude is impossible, especially in your busy, hectic life. This is completely understandable. However, gratitude is a mindset, and thoughts generate feelings. Consequently, when your thoughts are focused on gratitude and finding the good in any given situation, positive emotions and attitudes will naturally follow.
As you practice gratitude, you are likely to discover a greater sense of well-being, a happier disposition, and an improved personal and professional life.
Start by thinking about those things for which you are grateful. Write these thoughts down, but keep it simple. Here are a few examples to help you get started:
- “I’m so happy and grateful there is food on my table.”
- “I’m so happy and grateful I have friends who support me.”
- “I’m so happy and grateful that I awaken each day to the sounds of my children (or nature, etc.).”
- “I’m so happy and grateful for experiencing love.”
- “I’m so happy and grateful for this struggle and to learn how to let it go.”
- “I’m so happy and grateful I have to ability to show love and compassion.”
Write one, two, or even three gratitude statements every day for a couple of weeks. Soon, you will gain the ability to see the things you appreciate in life in a habitual way. Your thoughts will more naturally drift to your gratitude list, instead of dwelling on what you don’t have or what is not working in your life.