When life gets tough, we’re told over and over to try living in an ‘attitude of gratitude’. But if you fail to see how a change in attitude can help your current circumstances, you’re not alone. Many of us struggle to believe gratitude is a real solution, and most of us find it highly challenging to think of even one thing to be grateful for when feeling truly miserable. The secret is, though, that if you can manage to think of what you’re truly grateful for, you won’t feel miserable anymore. Feelings of gratitude and misery can’t exist at the same time. Whether you believe it or not, that’s only the beginning when it comes to what gratitude can do for you. Here are four very real ways your life WILL improve from practicing gratitude:
Your Mood Will Improve
When you think about the things you’re grateful for, you’re thinking about the things you love in your life. The more you think about things you love, the more positive thoughts you have, and the more positive thoughts you have, the happier you will be. This creates a cycle of thought designed to make you feel good:
The Cycle of Gratitude and Good Feelings:
- First, you think of the things you’re grateful for
- When you’re thinking about what you’re grateful for, you’re thinking about what you love
- Thinking about what you love generates positive thoughts and feelings
- Feeling positive about life leads you to easily remember what you’re grateful for and experience the warm feelings from that gratitude. From here, the cycle goes on and on.
Creating this cycle of thought doesn’t allow space for your worries and other ailments, so they begin to melt away, leaving you feeling optimistic, at ease, even happy!
You Will Attract More Good Things
There are two different but equally powerful understandings of how this magnetic pull works. It can be understood as a mystical miracle, but it can also be understood as logical common sense. Today we’re talking about real ways that YOU can have a better life, so let’s look at this from a common sense perspective: When you’re focusing on what you are grateful for, you’re putting yourself in a better, more positive headspace (illustrated in the Cycle of Gratitude and Good Feelings). When you’re in a more positive headspace, you’re going to make decisions that are in line with feeling good, which in turn brings more good things into your life. Once those new and good things are in your life, you have even more to feel grateful for, and thus a new cycle is born!
You’ll Have Better Friends
The thing about living in an attitude of gratitude is that it makes people want to be around you. People want to be happy, and they tend to gravitate towards those who have the answers to happiness. This isn’t to get carried away and say you have all the answers, but if you have the simple tool of feeling grateful, you will attract those who are also seeking gratitude. As a bonus, while you instantly attract grateful people, you will repel ungrateful people, which weeds out potentially toxic relationships that have most likely been weighing you down.
Your Health Will Improve
Sometimes health can feel like a tenuous, vulnerable thing, constantly at risk. This attitude makes us tense and fearful, which ironically welcomes sicknesses and diseases of all kinds. When you stop to take the time to be grateful for every healthy body part and system, you put your mind and your body at ease. Illness and disease occur when our bodies are not at ease (hence, dis-ease), so a body truly at ease is a body that stays healthy. Feeling gratitude for the health that you have encourages your body to stay healthy one day at a time.
These are four ways gratitude can change your life, but the possibilities are limitless. Start small, with a simple list of what you’re grateful for today (even if it’s one thing), and watch your mind begin to change.