In today’s incredibly fast-paced, digitally driven society, it’s important to take time out of each day to step back, and realize all the good in your life. It takes so little time and effort and it just feels good – not to mention it does good!
We tend to focus on the negative in our lives, and what we don’t have, instead of the many, many great things. This is the mindset that many of us get caught up in – I’m guilty of this on a regular basis. It seems it’s human nature, and we need to re-program our way of thinking.
There is plenty of good in your life. Practice gratitude. Try to spend just a few moments a day to shift your focus. You can do this in the shower, while brushing your teeth, sipping your morning coffee, or even during your commute.
There are plenty of techniques to practice gratitude – this article from PositivePsychologyProgram.com lists several. Start with the one that seems best suited for you, or create your own approach. The point is to simply start, and make it a habit. Good things will come of it for others, and you. I’m personally working on the “jar” approach.
Besides being just a great thing to do in your life, and the impact it has on others, practicing gratitude can boost “happiness levels” by 25%! From Harvard Health, “…gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
When you boost happiness levels, you also improve health – mind and body! Further, you’re likely boosting happiness to others around you, which in turn enhances their health! Practicing gratitude can be infectious – in a very good way!
Psychology Today, in their article 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude, reports on the benefits of gratitude – many of which extend beyond only happiness and health. For physical health, “Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people…” and relative to mental health, “Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret.”
Applying gratitude to your daily routine is easy and rewarding – for mind, body, and soul. It can be as simple as pausing from the daily rush to give thanks for the goodness in your life, to journaling with pen and pad, or even using one of the many apps available. Whichever technique(s) you choose, it’s important to be consistent and drive toward making it a daily habit.
To Health & Happiness!
Sources: Harvard Health Publishing, Psychology Today, The Pursuit of Mindfulness
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