When making changes in your life, one of the most powerful changes that you can make is to change the way you look at life. People are always saying that they want more of the good things in life but before they get more, they usually need to start showing appreciation and gratitude for the good things that they already have. Simply put, if you want to change your life, you must first change your perspective. Make a conscious effort each and every day to identify and acknowledge all of the good things that you already have. Expressing gratitude will not solve all of the problems that you experience in life but it will give you a more balanced view of your life which in turn brings many benefits.
11 ways that gratitude enhances your life
Abundance surrounds you in many ways. Regardless of your situation in life, there are many things that gratify you. What are you thankful for? Take time each day to express your gratitude for all of the good things in your life and you will soon begin to experience the benefits, including the following:
1. You’ll be more enthusiastic
Energy and enthusiasm are essential ingredients for a successful life. They help you to push through the difficult times and give you the courage to push your boundaries out by trying new goals.
Research shows that when subjects recorded what they were thankful for in a journal on a regular basis, they reported having a larger sense of enthusiasm for their life than those who didn’t write about their gratitude.
Acknowledge your gratitude. Take a pen and paper, set a timer for 10 minutes and write down everything that you are grateful for. In addition, write down the reason that you are grateful for it and the benefits you experience.
2. You’ll feel more determined to achieve your goals
When you take notice of the good things you have, you’re more likely to put your nose to the grindstone and keep working for whatever else you desire. This is because you are more confident in your abilities. As you recognise your positive achievements in life and, your good fortune, you begin to realise that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to.
If you need to set goals that inspire and motivate, check out the Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting.
3. Your level of optimism will soar
People often say that they lack confidence because nothing good ever happens to them. However, when you ask them if this is really true and, challenge their claim, they usually start to remember some good things. If you continue with your line of questioning, the slow trickle of good experiences soon turns into a steady flow.
When you are feeling down and things are not going your way, it is very easy to forget about all the positive things in your life. That is why it is so important to spend a few minutes each and every day practicing gratitude. It is even better if you write down your gratitude as you will be able to read back over your notes and remind yourself. The more positivity that you acknowledge, the more optimistic you become. You are not being asked to delude yourself with fabricated stories; just to accurately record the good experiences in your life.
According to several studies, those who documented what they were thankful for were much more positive about how their life was going and how it would proceed. Being optimistic will fuel your passion to construct the life you deserve.
4. Energy levels increase
Negativity gets you down. It consumes you to the point that it takes over your entire life and manipulates your perspective until you think that everything about your life is bad. This drains your energy and leaves you feeling lethargic. It is difficult to get anything worthwhile done when you feel like this.
The perfect antidote is to recognise the positives by practicing gratitude daily. As you do, your perspective becomes more balanced and your energy levels increase.
5. You’ll pay more attention
As previously mentioned, you are not expected to fabricate good news and experiences. You are only being asked to be realistic. Realism is important because it allows you to make important decisions based on accurate information.
You have probably heard the old cliché ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater’. It is a wise old saying. There will always be times when you need to make changes in your life but if you are unrealistic and have a very negative outlook, you will end up changing more than is necessary. When you do so, you end up changing things that were working well and so, you make your situation worse.
Being thankful ensures you’ll be more alert and aware of how your life is going, what you’re doing right, and what needs to change. The information is more accurate and thus your decisions and your changes will be more effective.
6. Levels of stress drop
A great deal of stress comes from the most useless emotions of them all – guilt and worry. Guilt is useless because you are causing yourself to feel bad over something which has already happened and so, cannot be changed. Worry is useless because you are causing yourself to feel bad over something which may never happen.
As you live a life of gratitude, many things that used to stress you out will lose their power. Instead, you’ll be entrenched in the world you’re living in rather than focusing on the past or fearing the future. Even when your worries seem genuine, you will be more motivated to take preventative action, thus reducing or eliminating your worry.
7. You’ll feel more content with life
Just because you do not yet have everything that you want in life; it does not mean that you should feel bad about your life. You can appreciate the good things while striving to make improvements where necessary. Sadly, we live in a society which conditions people to believe that if they do not have everything, they are failing. This can lead to a whole raft of issues including worry, anxiety and depression.
Those who practice daily gratitude learn to tell the difference between the need for improvement and failure. They are better able to enjoy the journey towards their desired life rather than just focusing on the destination.
8. You’ll exercise more
Those who show a sense of thankfulness had higher reports of exercising more than those who weren’t keeping a gratitude journal. It is unsure what the reasons for this were but it may have been due to the increase in energy and enthusiasm. Alternatively, it could have been due to the fact that they had a greater appreciation for their life and so wanted to make the most of it.
Either way, the end result is more exercise and better health which is a very desirable outcome.
9. Providing aid to others will come easier to you
When you notice all the positive things surrounding you, you’ll reach out to help others more often. You will feel less threatened by others, knowing that their happiness does not take from your happiness. As you feel happier and more content, you will naturally want more people to share the experience. When your soul is flooded with light and positivity, you’ll feel more like being there for others.
10. Others are more willing to help you
When you are someone who appreciates and practices gratitude, this comes across to other people. Think about this for a moment – if you did a favour for somebody and they didn’t show any gratitude, how likely would you be to help them again? You probably would help them next time but how often would it have to happen before you would think twice about offering assistance?
People don’t do good thinks in order to be appreciated but everybody likes to know that others are grateful. If you had to choose between helping somebody who was grateful and somebody who wasn’t, you’d be more likely to choose the person who was grateful. Gratitude costs you nothing but can bring big rewards.
11. You’ll discover the life you truly want
As unusual as it may sound, the research about gratitude indicates that those who have thankfulness in their hearts are more likely to achieve their goals. As your thankfulness grows, your dream life is built.
This shouldn’t really be a surprise. When you consider the 10 previous points and the benefits that they bring, it stands to reason that simply practicing gratitude on a daily basis can lead to an increased likelihood that you will achieve your goals.
Gratitude is an amazing tool for building self confidence. To learn more, check out Unbreakable Self Confidence.
It is easy to get caught up in negativity. When you do, you quickly forget about the all the good things and good people in your life. This manipulates your perspective and causes you to believe that you are worse off than you actually are. When you practice gratitude, you open your eyes to the bounties that grace your world. You realise that while your life may be in need of some improvement, there is a lot that you can be grateful for. The realistic perspective that comes with practicing gratitude allows you to make effective decisions about your life, based on accurate information. When you do, you’ll live a more fulfilling life.