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Gratitude and counting your blessings are common attitudes among happy and joyful people.
As a child, Chris Peterson considered writing thank-you notes as nonsense until in his 40s, he had to face it. While, he asks his students to write a “gratitude letter,” a kind of belated thank-you note to someone in their lives, it proves to be a mood booster and the students felt happy “100 percent of the time.” Though his students are experiencing the benefits of writing them, he still thought it would be corny to do it until he tried to “speak from the heart.”
The Snowball effect
Gratitude is a sentiment people like to cultivate. Feeling thankful and expressing thanks makes you happier, heartier and promotes a healthier lifestyle.
The biggest plus is in experiencing habitual gratitude. Even skeptics can benefit from a short-term mood boost. Starting is half the battle, so try to practice.
Writing gratitude letters and reading them aloud to the person you’re thanking can create measurable improvements in your mood. Studies show that for a full month after a “gratitude visit” (in which a person makes an appointment to read the letter to the recipient), happiness levels tend to go up. It lessens boredom and other negative feelings. Gratitude visits are one of the effective tools used in positive psychology today.
Personal happiness list
The attitude of being grateful on a daily basis can take a few minutes only. Try to list things you are thankful for, include even the simplest things, like the right to vote. People who follow this routine feel better, more energetic and alert. It can also bring physical changes like having better sleep, loving exercise and gaining general contentment that may counteract stress and contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.
Gratitude exercises do call for a certain amount of openness. One should put much thought or care into this task. Exercises like these can be done with skepticism and not be cynical about it.
For starters, try to fake it!
Fake it until you can make it. Say “thank you” enough and the mind will fall in line with the words. Think you don’t have anyone to thank? Gratitude is not dependent on circumstances.
One can be thankful for just about anything. It can be the neighbor for a car pool, to luck for meeting your spouse, to nature for a scenic view or to fate or a higher power for your safety. Thankfulness creates a perspective that you are the object of love and care. It can increase your self-esteem when people do things for you.
A conscious and active focus on gratitude can remind one of the things people easily and usually take for granted. Take note that consistent blessings such as family, health and home are more important. Grateful reflection can let you relish the good in life.
Being thankful reverses your attention from what you don’t have to things you are enjoying in the moment. Consistently ungrateful people tend to think that material goods (e.g., big-screen TV, winning the lottery) but life’s truest happiness is found in the fulfilling relationships we make along the way. It can cut back feelings of being envious and harboring comparisons with the Joneses.
Traumatic memories and troublesome thoughts fade and come with less intensity when we focus on being grateful. It leads to emotional healing and aids the brain to fully process events. By providing closure of negative thoughts, it can result into a generally positive outlook.
Having a daily gratitude journal can make you connect more to the world. The differences tend to be noticed by others. They become more helpful, give bigger tips etc. Thankfulness also creates a happy cycle of rich friendships bringing joy that gives you more to be grateful for, which then leads to friendships once again. Gratitude can make the world a happier place due to the relationships that it glues together.