How to Be a Happier Human – It Starts With Gratitude
Inside: Showing gratitude for the simple things can be easier said than done. Here’s two easy ways but impactful ways to change your view.
I’ll be honest. I’m one of those people that gripes when someone is driving super slow and I can’t zip around them. I snip at my family when they interrupt me while I’m writing. And don’t get me started on how I feel when it’s time to mow the lawn.
Yes, it’s easy to be a grumpus about mundane life obligations, inconveniences, and distractions. But it’s also JUST AS EASY to focus on the positive things in our lives.
And if you pay attention, there are a lot of positives.
So why is it that so many of us expend lots of energy on what is going wrong rather than what is going right? Why do we sometimes get sucked down that rabbit hole of negativity?
I don’t have that answer, but I do know this:
Not only is it important to focus on the positives, but it’s even more important to show gratitude.
“Well,” you might say, “that’s easier said than done. Look at all the bad things happening in the world.”
I don’t disagree. It’s downright difficult to watch the new or even look at my Facebook feed sometimes, given the stories of tragedy, ugliness, and pain.
But that’s why I think it’s more important than ever to focus on the simple things and show gratitude for them.
We can’t control everything that happens in the world. We can’t even control everything that happens to us. But we can control what we focus on. We can control our thoughts and we can control our reactions.
If you think about it, there are two factors that contribute significantly to happiness and fulfillment in our lives. One is awareness. Another is gratitude.
Be Aware of Positive Things in Your Life
I know that life can throw some hard things at us. And sometimes, you might find yourself reeling from a loss or a painful situation.
Sometimes we have rough patches. We go through dark times. That’s part of living.
But even during those tough times, we can find positives and show gratitude. It might take a little Breathe and Reboot to do it. Or it might take several Breathe and Reboots. But if you just look, you can find positives.
I’m currently struggling with the fact that now that I’m in my 40’s, my body is changing.
I get up in the morning and I literally limp to the coffee pot because I’m a little stiffer than I used to be. I’ve always been active and athletic so what in the world is this about?
Oh, and suddenly, I need bifocals? What?
I just bought a hair regrowth system at Ulta. Because, thinning hair. And it takes seven days of eating spinach and kale to lose one pound, but after one dinner at a Mexican restaurant, I’m back up three.
Is that annoying? Yes. Do I get frustrated? You bet.
But guess what? I can still find positives:
I am healthy enough to work out. Maybe I can’t run and jump as much as I used to, but I can get up and go. That’s a positive.
I can see. I have my vision. That’s a positive.
My weight may be up, but I’m still healthy. That’s a positive. I have the means to buy healthy food. That’s a positive.
Oh – and coffee. That’s always a positive.
So even when things aren’t perfect, (and let’s be honest, they’re never going to be perfect,) we can find positives and show gratitude for them.
Every Day When You Wake Up, That’s a Positive
Little things come and go quickly if you aren’t paying attention. Do you even notice a rainbow after a big storm? Or a beautiful, glowing sunrise?
What about listening to the birds sing? Or a child laughing? Even watching the clouds roll across the sky can bring a sense of happiness.
As hokey as that sounds, these little things are contributing to our lives. They are just little things in our busy and frantic world. But if you stop and notice them, they can bring you joy.
Show Gratitude for the Positive Things in Life
Once you begin to train your brain to be aware of the positives in your life, you’ll be amazed at how you will begin to see more good things.
When you show gratitude, it naturally cultivates a state of optimism. When you’re optimistic, you attract other optimistic people and likely optimistic situations as well.
When you start focusing on the good, even if they are simple things, it has a snowball effect and you can’t help but notice and attract more positivity.
If an intentional practice of showing gratitude for the simple things is new to you, it might feel weird at first.
But if you are consistent with practicing gratitude, soon you begin to change your conditioning and you’ll notice how good it feels.
Showing gratitude is powerful – but it takes practice.
If you can just do two things – be aware of the positives and then show gratitude for them, it really can increase your fulfillment and happiness.
The more you show gratitude for even the simplest things; the more reasons you will have to be grateful.
Interested in more? Check out these resources on Gratitude:
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