Every day, we make choices that affect our life, from the food we eat to the friends we spend time with. But there is also one very important choice we can make every single day that directly impacts the way we feel about our life — gratitude.
Here are seven ways tapping into gratitude will change your life.
Gratitude Brings More of What You Have to be Grateful for
Gratitude is a powerful force. It’s not something that just happens to you, it’s something you choose to practice and make part of your daily routine. Practicing gratitude will help you cultivate an attitude of appreciation and acceptance toward all the things in your life.
The first step to expressing gratitude is recognising the gifts you already have in your life—even if they're not what you imagined or hoped for. Once you've recognised what is working in your life, take time to acknowledge that this really does make you happy! Then think about how grateful you are for the people who support and inspire you.
Gratitude Fuels Greater Compassion and Empathy
Gratitude is an excellent tool for cultivating empathy, which can be an important part of being a good ally. When you're grateful and appreciative of your life, you will naturally want to extend those same feelings to others. When you're thinking about how hard it might be for someone else, your own struggles will seem less significant in comparison.
This understanding can help you feel more compassionate towards people who are different from you and make connections with them based on shared interests rather than surface-level differences or misunderstandings.
It also helps us understand why someone might act in ways that seem foreign or strange; when we're able to see things from their perspective, we give ourselves the opportunity to understand them better and perhaps even empathise with them.
Gratitude Lives in the Present (and it will help you do the same)
In the present moment, you’re likely to find gratitude. When you focus on the past or future, there is only room for worry and regret. With each new day comes a fresh opportunity to be grateful—and to enjoy your life more fully as a result.
A Gratitude Practise can Reduce Toxic Emotions
It’s easy to focus on the negative experiences in life, but taking time to reflect on what you are grateful for can reduce the impact of toxic emotions and help you be more resilient.
Toxic emotions like anger, grief, shame and stress can have a huge impact on your mental health. Gratitude can help change how you think about challenges in your life—and ultimately improve how you feel about them. A gratitude practise has been shown to improve mood, increase optimism and even make people less likely to experience depression or anxiety later on in life.
Gratitude Boosts Your Physical Health
It's well-known that stress can wreak havoc on your physical health. For example, high levels of stress have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and even mortality.
But what if you could reduce your stress? And what if doing so could also improve the quality of your life?
Well, it's true: gratitude has been shown to be an effective way to manage stress and lower anxiety—and it can also help with pain management. In fact, research shows that the more grateful we feel (for anything), results in fewer health problems.
Gratitude Makes Sleep More Restful
When you're grateful for something, your brain releases dopamine, which helps regulate energy levels while you sleep. The result? More restorative sleep and better recovery from stressors throughout the day.
One research conducted on gratitude, found that positive thoughts before sleep resulted in falling asleep faster and for longer periods of time.
Gratitude Improves Relationships
Gratitude also improves relationships. This is because gratitude helps us to understand the importance of others, feel more connected to them, be more patient with them and be more forgiving of mistakes made by others.
In addition, gratitude will make us more compassionate towards others because it allows us to see how much we have been given in our lives.
Gratitude is a powerful emotion. When people feel grateful, they're happier and healthier. And when you are happier and healthier, you're more likely to be connected to others.
Tapping into the power of gratitude will make your life better in every way possible: physically, emotionally and spiritually. It's also a simple habit that can be cultivated with practise.