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Gratitude is something we could all benefit from. Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present.
People tend to take for granted the good that is already present in their lives. There’s a gratitude exercise that challenges you should imagine losing some of the things that you take for granted, such as your home, your ability to see or hear, your ability to walk, or anything that currently gives you comfort. Then imagine getting each of these things back, one by one, and consider how grateful you would be for each and every one. Some of the most successful people are unfulfilled and unhappy because they base their lives off of expectations, rather than appreciation, reversing the two can cause a monumental shift in happiness in your life. Start finding joy in the small things instead of waiting for that one moment.
What we focus on, what we put our attention on really determines how we feel about that particular day or life in general. Focusing on the things that you are grateful for on a daily basis can help you in the long run. Start the day with three things you're grateful for. Your list of three things doesn't have to consist of big moments it can be a meal you just had or a moment with a friend. I promise you it begins to change the quality of your day and has long-term results as well.
Practicing gratitude, just like working out, improves your mental “fitness” over time. But.. just like working out, there’s an important caveat: It’s ridiculously easy to be grateful when things are going well. But it’s a thousand times more important to practice gratitude when they aren’t. There’s evidence to suggest that being grateful, despite your circumstances can improve every single area of your life, and actually brings in more things to be grateful for.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like everyone else has more to be grateful for then we do. When we feel a bit crap it’s easy to forget all the small parts of our lives that we can be grateful for.
Keeping a journal or making a gratitude list can be a great way of keeping our spirits up and reminding ourselves we have lots to be thankful for.
Noting down the positive parts of our lives is also a good way of ensuring we keep doing them.
Once you become oriented toward looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures and things that you previously took for granted. Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good even in unpleasant situations. Today, start bringing gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful; in this way, you’ll be on your way toward becoming a master of gratitude.
We hope that this year's Thanksgiving is a reminder that it's not the only day you can express your gratitude. "Practicing” gratitude really is as simple as it sounds: Start your day each day, no matter how things are going, by simply listing things that you’re grateful for.
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