I’ve always loved this time of year when we focus a little more on gratitude and a little less on things that aren’t as important.
To me, gratitude isn’t just for November, it should be something we are doing all year long.
Each night I review what I’m grateful for, and this has made such a huge difference in my life.
There are so many ways gratitude benefits us. Here are just a few.
Reviewing what you’re grateful for can put you in a positive state of mind.
Mindset is huge to me. I truly believe that if you can learn to change your mindset, you will positively influence your life for the better. I have seen this happen in my life time and time again.
A positive mindset opens us to new possibilities. It improves relationships, brings greater satisfaction in life, and creates real happiness.
You can do so much more in life with a positive mindset versus a negative mindset.
If you want to shift into a mindset that is positive and influential, start expressing gratitude. It will bring positivity into your life quicker than anything else.
With a more positive mindset, not only will you have the ability to improve your life and well-being, but you will have the capacity to positively impact the people around you.
Gratitude is an affirmation that there is goodness in the world.
I love affirmations. I use them every day, and I have for many years.
Affirmations are another way I can quickly get myself into a positive frame of mind.
There are two definitions of the word affirmation in the Oxford dictionary: “The action or process of affirming something or being affirmed” and “emotional support or encouragement.”
By that definition, gratitude is actually a powerful affirmation.
By expressing gratitude, we are affirming that our life has goodness in it.
We all have something to be grateful for.
Life itself is an incredible gift. Family, friends, food, clothing, housing, sunshine, freedom—how often do we take these things for granted?
By looking at life through the lens of gratitude, we will discover so many things that we can express gratitude for.
And by recognizing the goodness in our lives, we are providing emotional support and encouragement for ourselves and for others. It’s a win-win for all of us.
People who express gratitude are happier and less depressed.
According to a study done by Berkley, “gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotion.”
When participants in the Berkley study practiced gratitude through a writing journal, they actually began using more positive words and had more positive thought patterns.
The incredible thing is that this study was done on patients who struggled with mental health issues.
If these positive results can come from those who suffer from depression or other mental challenges, imagine how effective the practice of gratitude can be for all of us.
If you are experiencing anxiety over what is happening in the world today, take time each day to find something to be grateful for.
Do what the participants did in the study and keep your own gratitude journal.
Happiness can be ours—even when life is less than ideal—if we start making gratitude an important part of our daily life.
Gratitude is a skill we can use to retrain our brains to think differently.
According to Ellie Cobb, Ph.D., “Science shows we can train ourselves to experience thankfulness more often simply by paying attention to our lives differently. Attention is like a spotlight in the brain, as whatever we repeatedly bring attention to becomes stronger and brighter over time.”
This means that if we want to make gratitude a greater part of our lives, we have to start seeing our lives differently. In other words, we have to change our focus.
By training our minds to focus on gratitude, our ability to express gratitude naturally will become stronger the more we do it. This is such an empowering thought.
I know that the more I focus on gratitude, the more natural it becomes to see the good around me.
This is because gratitude really is a skill. And if we practice it every day, we can train our brains to see the world through the unique eyes of gratitude.
The more we train our minds to see the good, the more good our eyes will see.
Being grateful takes our focus off of our challenges.
No matter who we are, we all have to navigate life’s challenges. It can be hard and very overwhelming at times. This is especially true when our world is navigating some really hard things.
Gratitude gives us something to focus on instead of our hardship. It helps us recognize that despite life’s challenges, there’s still good that can be found in them.
Forcing our minds to seek out the good in the struggle is a healthy way to face life’s challenges. Rather than keeping our focus on things we have no control over, we can learn to focus on the things we can control.
How we choose to see the world is absolutely within our control. And gratitude is a choice we get to make every single day.
What we seek for, we will find. As we focus more on the good in the challenges, we will find many good things we may have never recognized before.
There is always something to be grateful for, and it’s our responsibility to find it.
Gratitude is contagious.
If you really want to change the world, express gratitude to those around you.
Call someone on the phone and tell them how grateful you are for them.
Recognize your partner and children for the good they do for you and your family.
Thank the volunteers in your community who often go about doing good completely unnoticed.
Your words of gratitude will spark positive feelings of gratitude in others, and that positive momentum may just change the direction of their day and yours.
You never know what your kind words can do.
But one thing’s for certain—they will spread goodness. So make sure to share those encouraging words more often.
There really is a healing power to gratitude.
According to research, gratitude can lead to better health, fewer aches and pains, improved sleep, a more alert mind, and improved self-esteem.
That’s a long list of benefits that can come from doing one simple thing every day.
It’s my hope that we express our gratitude more than just the month of November—but all year long.
If you need a little more positivity in your life, try developing your skill of gratitude. It will give you the positive momentum you need to live a happier and healthier life.