How Practicing Grateful Living Can Help You Feel Happier with Life
Practicing gratitude is transformative. Grateful living is a way for us to appreciate what we have in our lives right now instead of focusing on what we lack. As we strive to reach goals we have for the future, if we don’t have gratitude for where we are now and what we have now, we’ll never be able to ever really feel like we have enough. Grateful living is a way of life based on the decision to view everything as a beautiful gift. We see every moment, person, and experience, no matter how trivial as something gained.
Practicing gratitude regularly can add meaning to your life and give you a greater sense of satisfaction. For those struggling to view life through the lens of positivity, incorporating grateful living into your life experience can have a significant impact.
Read on to learn more about grateful living and how you can begin to practice it and start transforming your life today.
What is Grateful Living?
Grateful living is a state of gratitude towards your life and everything it offers. Cultivating gratitude daily helps shift your perspective of life and heightens your appreciation for your unique circumstances. This can really change your world as you train yourself to see and appreciate all the wonderful things you already have in your life. This practice makes your life feel richer and fuller. You feel a flow of abundance and feeling this abundance allows you to attract more positive things into your world. Gratitude itself is a high vibrational state; it feels good to feel grateful. Grateful living is about looking at the positive aspects of things, finding a silver lining in every situation.
Looking at things through this lens of gratitude can be life changing. You interact more with the present and feel more deeply about all the insignificant little moments that add up to a day.
The Benefits of Grateful Living
Grateful Living comes with a multitude of benefits. People who practice gratitude are found to be happier, and overall, more fulfilled with life.
The benefits of grateful living are founded in science. Many studies have shown that practicing gratitude can reduce stress and even act as a natural antidepressant. Gratitude helps to slowly change the way we perceive our circumstances by adjusting what we focus on.
Feeling appreciation for what we have can reduce negative emotions such as anger, frustration, and resentment. Gratitude improves health and wellbeing in many other ways, including:
- Makes people happier and more inclined to seek happiness
- Leads to experience more positive emotions
- Improves relationships
- Connects people more with others by increasing empathy levels
- Improves sleep quality
- Reduces pain symptoms
- Releases emotional trauma
How Gratitude Can Change Your Life
The world you observe is a reflection of yourself. We tend to see the world as we are, not how it actually is. Your thoughts and life experience color your reality. To see change in your life, you must first look within and change whatever’s holding you back from the life you want.
Regularly practicing gratefulness will undoubtably transform your life. Not only will you gain
an array of health benefits, but the way you live your life and how you grow will also change for the better.
Grateful living allows one to live in and accept the present moment instead of stressing about the past or worrying about the future. You’ll find that every day presents small, beautiful elements that make you feel happy to be alive at that moment in time.
You’ll live your life in a much higher vibrational state, which will help you to continue attracting amazing things into your reality. Being grateful for what you already have is one of the core pillars of manifestation. You’ll find that manifesting comes much easier and much quicker when you live in a state of gratitude.
Steps to Practice Grateful Living
1. Observe and appreciate everything
Many of life’s daily gifts go unnoticed. That first sip of coffee in the morning, a cool breeze on a hot day, the puffiness of the clouds overhead, the sound of rain pouring down, the laughter of a child, making someone smile… Appreciation always follows observation. Acknowledge the little things that add even the tiniest bit of joy to your day.
2. Make it point to find the silver lining
Train yourself to see the good aspects of difficult situations. Even life’s darkest moments have a bit of light within them; that is the way thing go, life is a mix of good and challenging moments. There’s always a silver lining to be found, even if it takes you a long time to find. This optimistic mindset promotes emotional resilience and adaptability. Always try to find something to look forward to. Looking towards an optimistic future brings joy. When facing difficulty, try to frame the situation as a challenge that you can overcome, not a burden to which you must succumb to. Remember, perspective is everything.
3. Keep a gratitude journal
Writing in a gratitude journal will greatly help improve your mood and mental health. Make it a habit to write down thoughts about any positive moments that happened during the day. You may realize there are many things you are grateful for that you don’t always acknowledge in your life.
Dedicate a journal or notebook to your gratitude practice and spend as little as five to ten minutes each day, in quietude, reflecting on the events of the day and then jotting down three to five things that you are grateful for. Allow yourself to embrace the emotions as you write about those things that bring you joy. Be creative, avoid simply writing broad statements such as “I’m grateful for my family” day after day. Get specific in your writing and say for instance “I’m grateful for having been invited for dinner at my brother’s house today. This allowed me to spend time with people I love, and I enjoyed the benefit of not having to cook tonight after a long workday.” Note that for this you don’t necessarily have to use a physical journal, you can also use a note on your phone or a gratitude app.
4. Small acts of kindness
The art of kindness means embracing a spirit of helpfulness and generosity. This is when you choose to be helpful and compassionate without expecting anything in return. When you realize how something small can bring a lot of joy to another being, you’ll appreciate the power in performing small acts of kindness.
Further, being kind can make you happier and healthier person. As we know, behavior can change biology. Sharing acts of kindness will benefit you by releasing oxytocin, a hormone that helps connect people. It is often referred to as the love hormone.
To help you take action, you can ask yourself: “How can I practice kindness today?” And you’ll find that this simple positive inquiry will act like planting a seed of positivity in your brain. This will help direct your intentions and emotions for the day. As they say, “Where focus goes, energy flows.”
Small acts of kindness are so easy to do. Give a genuine smile, compliment a stranger, or perhaps you can buy the individual in line behind you a cup of coffee, or help an elderly person carry groceries to their vehicle… These acts, though small, can have the most profound impact on a person’s day and on yours. And this will take barely any effort from you.
5. Help others
Helping others is a practical way of practicing gratitude. Helping those in need may inspire you to reflect on your own circumstances and allow you to appreciate your own life with a bit more fervor. Volunteering at a local shelter, or donating to charity, not only make a good impact on the world, but are also rewarding acts that can in turn help strengthen your confidence and overall life satisfaction. Seeing difficulties of others and feeling empathy towards them can bring on a sense of compassion for humanity.
6. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is the quality of being aware of the present moment, without judgement. When you are mindful, you are more aware of your thoughts and emotions as they occur. To practice mindfulness, as you move through your day, take the time to pause, observe, and appreciate the present moment. Think as you do something “I am grateful.” Maybe you try this in the morning as you enjoy a hot cup of coffee, feel the warmth of the cup, smell the aromas and express thankfulness as you take your first sip. Do this when you’re tending to your plants, playing with your pets, or enjoying a meal with your family. This present-moment gratitude helps the process of brain rewiring and allows you to find gratitude for everyday life situations with more ease. And soon practicing gratitude will become second nature.
7. Express your gratitude
It is not enough to just feel gratitude; it’s also good to express it. Tell your friends and family that you are grateful for them and everything they do. Don’t be afraid to thank others. Saying the words “thank you” can bring you into a more potent state of gratitude and this will in addition brighten their day.
8. Spend time with those you love
Spending time with close friends and family is a natural emotional booster. People are one of the things that make life so special. Spending time with those you are grateful for will not only strengthen your relationships and provide you with support, but it will also spark your gratitude for their place in your life.
9. Do things that bring you of joy
You are your own best friend. Do things for yourself that will make you happy, even if it is just the in smallest amount. Spend quality time alone, turn on a song you love, enjoy a clean house, adorn your walls with beautiful art, take a long shower, go for a stroll, watch a peaceful sunset…
Only you know what small things truly make you happy. By incorporating more and more of these things into your life, you will be better able to appreciate the miracle that is existence.
Everyone can become a more grateful person. Practicing grateful living will transform your life in so many ways. Not only will you gain multiple health benefits, but you will become happier in your everyday life.
Grateful living is a life-long pursuit. The more you work towards it, the more natural it will come to you. Start implementing these simple gratitude techniques today so you can enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life going forward. Once you start feeling grateful for the things in your life, you’ll find that you see even more things to be grateful for.
So, if you’re up for it, let’s try this: we challenge you to write down in a notebook five things that you’re grateful for, and take the time to really feel the gratitude. Keep up this practice for a few weeks and see the positive impact in your life.
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