Gratefulness – also defined as being thankful, appreciative or gratitude – can be a powerful tool for living a meaningful life.
Psychology Today states, “Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has – as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants. Gratitude is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness – and especially expression of it to others – is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.
Take a moment each day to express gratitude for the goodness in your life. Some people like to begin their day with a meditation or short mantra expressing thanks. This is a positive action to begin each day and set the tone for the rest of the day. It helps you look for the best resolution as the day unfolds.
Others prefer to document the activities and the goodness of the day as a nightly ritual. Being thankful for all the moments and people in our daily life can change our intentions. One can learn to flip frustrations or challenges to create new opportunities for choosing what is important to us over time.
As the holiday season approaches, many celebrate thankfulness and a bountiful life, but as the good china is put up, keeping an attitude of gratitude throughout the year can relieve stress and generate a more optimistic view. A mindset of cultivating kindness can often have positive repercussions that we can’t even imagine. Much like a small pebble thrown into a pond, the ripples of thankfulness and kindness can have a huge impact on many people, some of whom you may never meet!
By focusing on the good, you retrain your brain to look for abundance, rather than dwelling on the lack of “things.” Scientific studies are demonstrating that fear and negativity increase cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormones and narrow your perspective because you perceive danger in your life. Developing a positive mindset increases the mood neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine), in your body. It also encourages people to “broaden and build” life skills, actively seek new opportunities, and utilize small successes to achieve a more abundant and meaningful life.
In gratitude ~ Bob