Gratitude is the word, my friends! It’s all about gratitude. Life is so much better with gratitude. With Thanksgiving Day this week in the United States, this is where I am going with today’s post.
“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” – Jean Baptiste Massieu
Gratitude is a Happiness Booster
Think about this for a few minutes. When we are grateful every day for what we have in our lives, we are spending time focusing on what we have instead of what we don’t have. As humans we are most always naturally going to want more than what we have. There is going to be that shiny something just out of reach, and if we focus on that, we are in grave danger of climbing that happiness ladder.
What’s the Happiness Ladder?
The happiness ladder is that place we climb to be happy. We tell ourselves that when we get that thing we want, we will be happy. Sadly, when we get that thing we want, there is the next thing, and the next, and so on.
Before you know it, we are still not happy and that never-ending ladder climbs to who-knows-where. Happiness becomes mythical. So please don’t climb the happiness ladder, because it never leads anywhere at all (except frustration and potential misery, and I am pretty sure we don’t want that).
Let’s Go Back to the Happiness Booster
Instead, let’s spend some time every day thinking about how amazing it is that we have what we have in our lives. This is more likely to result in warm, fuzzy heart feelings. We tend to smile. Our eyes just might light up. It’s so easy to choose happiness in our day when we have all of this going on, don’t you think? Gratitude is a happiness booster.
Gratitude is an Optimism Booster
Yes, really! When we are grateful for what we have in our lives, we are already thinking positive. By spending time every day thinking about all that we have, we are creating a habit of thinking positive. That habit makes it even easier to keep that positive thinking going throughout the day.
After that habit is securely embedded into our mindset, we are more likely to think positively when a challenge presents itself. The law of attraction takes effect. If we are thinking positive outcomes and looking for positive outcomes, we are going to find positive outcomes. So, yes, gratitude is an optimism booster.
The Gratitude Mindset
You know the gratitude mindset has taken hold when a challenge presents itself, and you choose to react calmly and positively. There are so many things that happen in our lives that are completely out of our control. We cannot control situations or other people’s behavior, but we can choose how we think and respond.
For example, say that you are stuck in traffic. You don’t know why you are stuck in traffic in this particular place, but here you sit. This happens to all of us at some point or another. You can choose to be angry and frustrated, or you can look at it as an opportunity to listen to an audible book or music. This could be an opportunity to call your best friend and just chill while you wait for traffic to move again (of course, a hands-free call – blue tooth, please).
Challenges already bring a level of stress, so why add more than is necessary? With the gratitude mindset, we tend to look for the opportunities in a situation vs. the problems. We navigate challenges with a hopeful heart vs. negativity and excess stress.
How do we begin this practice? A great way to begin practicing daily gratitude is to keep a Gratitude Journal. Each morning you write down three things for that you are grateful. Keep it simple.
Next time you are out and about, pick up a small notebook where you can keep your gratitude log. It does not have to be fancy. It could be fancy if you want, but it’s not necessary. Whatever you decide to do, make it your place to keep your positive thoughts.
You can even take it one step further and book end your day. In the evening, spend time noting three things that went really well that day. Reflecting in such a positive way before you go to sleep reinforces the habit.
Of course, these are a few suggestions for practicing gratitude. Whether you proceed and how you proceed is all up to you, because you have to do what is right for you.
Question of the day: What’s your favorite way to practice gratitude? Leave your response in the comment section below, so that we can all pick up some new ideas for such a positive habit.
For those celebrating this week, Happy Thanksgiving!
Now This Is Moore Like It!