Gratitude is an underrated hack for happiness.
If I could retrace my steps back to when my life changed for the better, I am sure it would be the day I chose to be actively grateful every single day.
Choosing gratitude is also a decision to improve your life. But like anything worthwhile, finding things to be grateful for is a skill that must be honed until a grateful mindset starts to feel natural and automatic. A mind full of gratitude given time will lead to a heart full of gratitude – and when you have a heart full of gratitude, then the world as you know it will become a whole lot brighter…
Benefit #1 ⋆The Little Things Become Great Things
When appreciation grows, abundance flows.
Appreciation creates abundance in all areas of our life, because gratitude is a sister energy of love. Love is the life force of all creation, so by giving gratitude for something you are breathing life into it and willing it to multiply in your life.
Through the unforgiving lens of our mind, many of the occurrences in our life can seem thankless and irrelevant, or worse, inconvenient and unwelcome. But by forcing yourself to be grateful for all of them – regardless of their consequences – you are acknowledging the higher truth that everything happens for your highest benefit.
Whatever the situation, we can always be thankful in advance, even when the lessons we have been assigned to learn through the school of hard knocks haven’t been illuminated to us yet.
Benefit #2 ⋆ Feeling More Resilient
A Harvard researcher had an amazing discovery. When a study group practised gratitude for 21 days as part of a psychology experiment, the benefits of a more positive mindset remained visible for the next 6 months! When our gratitude muscle is well-trained and strong, we can adequately defend ourselves against bouts of negativity and challenging life events.
After practising daily gratitude for a while, you will begin to realise that the things which once impacted your mood now don’t hurt you as much. A positive mindset is a remedy for most things, and with the sense of wellbeing that a grateful mind brings, you can sail the stormy seas of your emotions and keep yourself dry during life’s downpours using the umbrella of your positive mind. ☂️
Benefit #3 ⋆ Social Contagion Effect
By filling yourself up with gratitude, your own issues will become less concerning to you so you can redistribute that emotional energy as compassion for others.
Your energy is infectious, and due to our empathetic nature as social creatures we are all susceptible to a social contagion effect. Stanford University (1998) defines social contagion as “the spread of affect or behaviour from one crowd participant to another; one person serves as the stimulus for the imitative actions of another.”
Your behaviour signals to others what is acceptable behaviour from them. This means that we all carry huge influence through our behaviour due to this social contagion effect. If it is true that there are 6 degrees of separation between us and every other person on the planet, then all of our actions are loaded with the potential for huge impact. Daily gratitude not only changes your life for the better, but by emotional osmosis you will infect the people around you with a sunnier outlook too.