Why You Should Practice Gratitude Daily
- 1 Why You Should Practice Gratitude Daily
- 2 The blessings of Appreciation
- 3 My Benefits of Practicing Daily Gratitude
- 4 Expressing Thanks Makes You More Productive.
- 5 Gratitude Helps in the Decision Making Process
- 6 Blessings of gratitude
- 7 Being Grateful Leads to a Relaxed State
- 8 Thankfulness Destroys Envy
- 9 Practicing Thankfulness Boosts Self-Esteem
- 10 Being Thankful Keeps You from Becoming Self-Centered
- 11 This keeps you from looking at the world in an egocentric manner.
- 12 Gratitude Increases Your Level of Happiness
A quick check in a thesaurus shows that the following words are opposites, or antonyms, for the word gratitude:
Think about the emotions behind those words. We have all had those negative emotions at some time. When we haven’t been mindful at that point. We have also all been agitated and taking it out on the nearest person. The emotions don’t reflect the blessings of gratitude.
Most of us, feel that we were in the wrong one we experience those emotions. We regret our thoughts and our actions.
Each emotion that we feel has energy behind it. When we express gratitude it feels good. It opens our heart center. Very quickly we feel calmer and more peaceful.
Also, being grateful makes us realize how much we have to be truly thankful for. My life definitely improved for the better about three years ago when I decided to show gratitude every day.
As of today 1 October 2018 I am going to write here the three most important things I want to be grateful for in a day. Your comments would be greatly appreciated and perhaps you will join me with your own gratitude journal.
When you are truly thankful something marvelous happens at a physiological and spiritual level. You are instantly more open and also more receptive. The world looks a better place, I am calmer and feel more enriched. I am more willing to trust the universe.
The blessings of Appreciation
Being appreciative makes me look for solutions in my daily problems. We still have challenges when we are grateful, but we look at them differently.
There is a direct link between a gratitude journal, becoming more aware of the things you have to be thankful for and the power of meditation.
Through daily acts of appreciation, I find that I complain less and I judge less. I am more open to be happy and see joy around me. The powerful emotions evoked by a simple thank you cannot be underestimated.
I am totally blessed in the fact that 99 times out of a hundred my first thought in the morning is “thank you, thank you, thank you”
That was not always the case. I have achieved this through practice. Interestingly enough I noticed even after the day my husband died it was still my first thought in the morning.
My Benefits of Practicing Daily Gratitude
Humans are incredibly complex beings. Literally millions of processes are happening inside your body at any given moment. They control how your body and mind work. Then there are your emotions and your spiritual being. Unlike your physical body, your spirituality and the way you feel about things are ethereal, and cannot be seen.
However, your physical, mental and spiritual aspects are all related and influenced by each other. This complexity means that a positive mindset can deliver physical rewards. Taking care of your physical body makes your mind and spirit healthier. Keeping your brain sharp allows for spiritual and physical health and well-being.
This is how the powerful emotions that come from a sense of gratefulness can positively impact your life on so many levels.
Incidentally, the benefits from a daily practice of gratitude are nearly limitless. Since all people are different, you may experience a different set of physical, mental and spiritual rewards than someone else. In many cases, however, there are common benefits of being grateful which are consistently reported. Some have even been documented scientifically, and are included in the list of impressive gratitude benefits listed below.
Expressing Thanks Makes You More Productive.
Grateful people are productive people. They get more done because their mind is clear and sharp. When you show appreciation for something, it means you are focusing on the positive things in your life, rather than your worries and troubles. We know that constant worry causes stress in both mind and body. When you are worried and stressed out, you can’t focus, since your mind is concentrating on trying to remove whatever is causing the stress in your life.
A lack of focus leads to a drop in productivity. A daily acknowledgment of the blessings in your life delivers mental peace and clarity. This leads to an improved ability to concentrate, which can make you more productive at any task or endeavor.
Gratitude Helps in the Decision Making Process
Even the smallest of decisions is an involved process. Think about something as simple as driving to the store to pick up a gallon of milk. Should you change, or go in the clothes you’re wearing? How much gas do you have in your vehicle? While you are there, do you need to buy anything else? If you leave now, will you be back in time for the start of your favorite program, or should you wait until after the show is over?
This illustrates how many thought processes go into making a simple decision. Imagine how much more complicated the decision making process is for doctors. They are tasked with choosing the right treatment or medication for a patient every time. One study showed that after expressing gratitude, doctors were able to make a healthier and more accurate diagnosis than if they did not feel thankful.
Blessings of gratitude
One set of doctors was shown a list of symptoms of an imaginary patient. On top of that, they were handed misleading information. They were told the patient had already been diagnosed by another doctor as having contracted lupus. Half of the doctors in this experiment were given a token of appreciation, which they felt grateful for.
The other half of the doctors did not receive any token of appreciation. Those doctors were much more likely to simply go with the incorrect lupus diagnosis than the doctors who were grateful. The doctors who expressed thanks for their gift spent more time and energy trying to ascertain whether the lupus diagnosis was correct or not. The grateful doctors also considered a much broader range of treatments.
It appears that being grateful strengthens your ability to make good decisions. As in the case just mentioned, it doesn’t even matter if the gratitude is for anything related to the choice you have to make. Practice daily gratitude, and you will make better decisions in all aspects of your life.
Being Grateful Leads to a Relaxed State
Positive emotions are related to feelings of peacefulness, tranquility, and calmness. Negative emotions and feelings cause a mental and spiritual state of disarray, anxiety, stress, and disruption. The next time you are feeling anxious, depressed or stressed, take a couple of deep breaths. Close your eyes and envision something that you are thankful for.
Express real gratitude for that blessing, either out loud, or silently to yourself. You will notice the stress and anxiety slipping away. Some research has shown that this practice of gratitude actually slows down the production of stress hormones in your body, which delivers a relaxed feeling of stress-relief.
Thankfulness Destroys Envy
Have you ever been envious of someone or something else? That is not a good feeling, is it? You focus in on the target of your envy, and you can see or think of nothing else. This can lead to a mental and emotional state categorized by distrust, materialism, inferiority and insecurity, and in severe cases even hatred. You secretly feel you are less than you should be and you begin to resent yourself since you do not have the thing or person you are envious of.
Practicing gratefulness wipes away any thoughts of envy. You realize that the life you lead is very worthy of your gratitude. You cannot think an envious thought when you develop a grateful mindset. Instead of being envious of something that someone else has, you are happy for them. You are also happy with your own set of blessings, and very grateful for them in your life.
Practicing Thankfulness Boosts Self-Esteem
What if you had nothing to be thankful for? What if there was nothing in your life to express gratitude over? That is a horrible reality no one should face. Certainly, everyone has many things to be grateful for. When you take the time to notice how many wonderful blessings you have in your life, you can’t help but feel more expansive.
This gives your self-esteem and self-love a boost.
This happens because when you display true gratitude, you see yourself as a person who is worthy of the things you are grateful for. You recognize the gifts in your life as rewards for being a good person. Whenever you need to improve the way you look at yourself and a reminder that you are a valuable, wonderful, good human being, take time to be thankful.
Being Thankful Keeps You from Becoming Self-Centered
Just as gratitude gives your self-esteem a positive jolt, it also keeps you from being selfish. You may think that if gratitude causes a rise in self-esteem, it could lead to an egotistic attitude. The exact opposite is the case. Gratitude leads to a realization that not everyone has as many rewards and blessings as you do.
This keeps you from looking at the world in an egocentric manner.
It is tough to be a narcissistic and self-absorbed individual when you see so many gifts in your life that others do not have. This also leads to a higher sense of appreciation and gratitude for everything positive that happens to you. Gratitude makes you focus on others, on their acts of benevolence and giving that has impacted you, rather than always thinking about yourself.
Gratitude Increases Your Level of Happiness
It’s true, you are happier after you feel a sense of gratefulness. We are often grateful for an act of kindness someone has performed on our behalf. We are thankful for a gift, a personal achievement we are proud of, or a beautiful sunset. These are all cases where our happiness is bolstered because of something we are thankful for.
You can use this emotional response to gratitude in your daily life. A few times a day, give yourself a break. Look around you. What do you have to be thankful for … your wonderful family, your friends, your home, a nice meal and that smiling neighbor who always stops to have a pleasant chat when they see you. Life’s pleasures are all around us, and when we take the time to appreciate them, our happiness grows.