Life is rarely perfect. We all have days where we can feel bogged down by even the smallest things. We can easily forget how lucky we are in respect to what we already have in our life and take for granted.
Being grateful and counting our blessings even in times that we think are tough and challenging is a very important tool in keeping our lives and perceived problems in perspective and remembering that the things we are blessed with, millions of others are not.
Everyday take the time to write down 6 things that you are grateful for in your life. Incorporate this daily practice into your routine which has been proved to improve mental health and remind us of the advantages we already have in our lives.
Things to be grateful for include:
1. Your Health
If you are healthy, you should be incredibly grateful and the more you appreciate your well-being the more you’ll prioritize it.
2. A warm bed to sleep in at night
A bed is one of those things that’s easy to take for granted, until you don’t have one.
3. Clean water
Millions of people in the world do not have access to clean water. It is a privilege and something to be grateful for.
4. Mistakes that helped you grow as a person
Without some struggle and challenges in life we remain stagnate. In order to evolve as human beings we need to be grateful for mistakes we have made that allow us to learn and move forward in life.
5. Not being hungry
As with lack of water in the world, many people are hungry, many even starve to death. Having enough food to eat and a full belly is something to be thankful for.
6. Your children
Although bringing up children can be daunting at times, it is still a miracle to have a child and an extension of yourself that you were able to bring into the world. Lots of people are unable to have children so your children are a gift that you can be grateful for.
Take the time every day to write 6 things you are grateful for in a notebook and see how expressing gratitude on a regular basis can change your life. Being grateful has added benefits of inducing a huge range of physical and psychological benefits including:
1. Increases your level of happiness
Being aware of what you already have leads to increased feelings of well-being and positivity.
2. Improves duration and quality of sleep
If you are concentrating on things to be grateful for instead of fixating on negative thoughts of what you don’t have you will have an easier time getting a good nights sleep as you are focusing on the good in your life and what you have and not feeling discontented, resentful or angry over what you don’t have.
3. Protects you from negativity and stress
Gratitude has been associated with decreased depression and anxiety and an increase in social support.
4. Reduces our relationship with materialism
Being materialistic is linked to lower happiness levels. When we are regularly grateful for what we already have we gradually lose the need for excessive material things and become happier with less.
5. Being grateful increases your lifespan
Studies have consistently shown that optimistic people outlive their pessimistic peers.
6. Gratitude helps us bounce back
We all go through ‘down’ times in life. People who consistently practice being grateful tend to be more resilient. Those that have more gratitude display a more pro-active coping style enabling them to better deal with life’s ebbs and flows.
Start being appreciate for what you have today and see your life, your attitude and your relationships change for the better. Start seeing what you have as opposed to what you don’t have. Gratitude starts with noticing the goodness in life not what we define as the lack.
Incorporating the daily practice of gratitude in your life can help you succeed by creating a platform of internal success. Start today write a daily gratitude list and see how your live evolves when you appreciate the here and now of what you already have.