As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. -John F. Kennedy
Below you’ll find three simple ways to use gratitude to be happier every day:
1) Be grateful for the blessings you have now. Obviously, focusing on the positive aspects of your circumstances helps you feel happy and content but it’s very easy to slip into a negative focus and see only problems and obstacles. Make it a habit to consciously focus on the good stuff as often as possible. You can keep a written gratitude journal, or simply recite a mental list of things to be grateful for each night before you go to sleep. If you’re dealing with a lot of problems or upsets in your life right now, you may not think you have much to be grateful for, but even the small things can make you feel more fortunate. Give thanks for the people in your life, beloved pets, your health, freedom and more. Take nothing for granted, and you’ll soon realize just how blessed you are.
2) Be grateful and optimistic about the good things on their way to you. One reason you may feel dissatisfied with your life is because you believe it will always be this way. However, just because you can’t see any way to improve your circumstances now doesn’t mean that miracles can’t show up later. Instead of getting mired in pessimism and doubt, affirm and know that the things you want are on the way. Give thanks for these things as if you know with absolute certainty that they will be yours. The more you do this, the happier you’ll feel – and that happiness will continue to grow as your circumstances improve.
3) Make mountains out of molehills. Have you ever made a big deal over a minor problem and blown it all out of proportion? Most of us have. While that’s typically a bad thing to do, you can turn it around and make it a GOOD thing. Make a huge deal out of every tiny blessing and good thing that happens to you. Did you win $5.00 on an instant scratch ticket? Whoop and holler about it (even if only mentally)! Allow yourself to be overcome with the same amount of gratitude you’d feel if you won $50,000.00. When someone pays you a compliment, allow yourself to feel wonderful about it. When anything good happens, mentally turn it into a GREAT experience.
You may notice that these gratitude exercises have one common theme: they are all about PERCEPTION. In every situation there are positives and negatives, and your mood and mind-set are very much the result of what you choose to focus on the most. Choose pessimism and lack, and you’ll feel miserable. Choose gratitude and joy, and you’ll feel happy!
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Have a day full of Gratitude!