Do you see your life as a glass half empty or half full?
All too often we tend to be ungrateful for the things we have. That is, until something happens in our lives and suddenly everything is gone – money, friends, hope.
It’s in those moments when our eyes get opened. Then, we finally realize how many things we had that we should have been grateful for.
But is it really that important to be grateful?
Gratitude has power. It inspires and motivates. It lies at the very foundation of happiness and success. And it can change your whole life. How so?
The Reasons Why Gratitude Changes Your Life
Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation. It must come from the heart to motivate you in the right direction. So, making an effort to redirect your thoughts toward feeling gratitude encourages change. Why?
1. It makes you aware of your blessings.
Take a moment each morning to make a mental or written gratitude list. Think about what you can be grateful for in the present moment. Focusing your attention on the things you appreciate about your life not only starts the day off with a positive note, but those thoughts will stay with you throughout the day.
2. It alters your perception in a positive way.
Gratitude changes the dynamics of your reality. It encourages satisfaction and contentment. For example, far too many things in the world can remind you of how little you have like advertisements you see and hear or things like your neighbor’s brand new car. Gratitude helps you focused on what you have, not what you don’t have. When you approach your life from this point of view, you’ll start noticing more and more things to be thankful for.
Gratitude also helps change your perception of challenges. It breeds positivity. For example, it’s all too easy to see the negative in every situation, but being grateful shifts your focus to the positive. When you face challenges, gratitude motivates you to stop complaining. It builds your coping skills and allows you to see every problem as an opportunity to learn and grow.
3. It makes you happier.
Being grateful makes you go about your day in a state of appreciation for everyone and everything. Including yourself. The more you think about how blessed your life is, the better you feel. The happier you feel, the more you want to express your gratitude. And when you show gratitude to others for their consideration and kindness, you become a force for good. Your happiness begins to spread.
4. It nurtures relationships.
Gratitude makes you a more positive and caring person. That in itself can improve your relationships with others tremendously. Particularly with people that you may have differences with. Feeling grateful can change your attitude toward that person when you focus on their admirable qualities instead of their faults, display peace instead of getting mad, and compliment instead of criticizing them.
Certainly, nobody is more deserving of your gratitude than the members of your family – your spouse, your children. Feeling gratitude for them will enable you to nurture these close relationships. Love will flourish when you show them appreciation by being sensitive to their needs, valuing their qualities, looking for opportunities to commend them, spending time with them, and showing them affection.
5. It improves your quality of life.
Overall, gratitude leads to better mental, emotional, and physical health. Feeling grateful can improve your sleep, enhance your mental and physical performance, and lower your risk for certain health conditions. It can also help you make better decisions and reduces your impatience and impulsiveness.
Gratitude gives peace of mind. It instills an appreciation for the present instead of worries about the future. And that lowers stress levels because when your thoughts dwell on things you’re grateful for, it leaves little room for worries.