Use Gratitude to Create Positive Change in Your Life
Paula Gurnett, C.C.C. October 15, 2021
Consistent gratitude is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to propel yourself into a brighter tomorrow. Gratitude isn’t a magical shortcut, though. It doesn’t necessarily create any changes outside of yourself. What it can do, however, is open you up to other opportunities.
As you become aware of the multitude of blessings already present in your life, you may begin to focus on abundance more and more. This can set you on a path to a mental state rich in optimism. Since research shows optimism as being connected to happiness and success…it’s worth the mind-shift.
This transformation takes place as you begin to express genuine gratitude to others, and start feeling gratitude for everything in your life that brings you joy.
Become Receptive to Abundance
A great way to increase your awareness of the abundance you already have is to start being intentional in small and consistent ways. Find a gratitude practice that fits for you as you carve out time to notice everything you are thankful for.
You can feel grateful for anything, big or small. On days when you think you have absolutely nothing to be appreciative for, take a moment to dig deep and pay close attention to the seemingly small details in your life. For instance, take note of the air you’re breathing, the food in your cupboards, or the amazing moon that shows up every night.
Once you start noticing the many things to be grateful for, you’ll find that you can think of more and more blessings in your life. Creating this mind-shift, trains your brain to spot opportunities. This happens because, research shows that, gratitude actually changes the chemistry within the brain. When we express gratitude, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, which are the neurotransmitters that are responsible for our feel-good emotions. This mood booster is directly connected to gratitude!
Gratitude is a Tool
Gratitude can put you on the path to becoming a stronger person. Use gratitude proactively to arm yourself against negativity and tough times. Focus on what you do have as opposed to what you are lacking.
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology entitled “Counting Blessings versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-being in Daily Life” found that those who maintained a grateful attitude experienced greater physical and psychological well-being.
The study claims that daily gratitude increases self-esteem. It also reduces materialism, envy, and self-centered tendencies. Gratitude can also help you to form more meaningful relationships and generate social capital. Studies also show that people who consistently express gratitude are trusted more than those who don’t.
By keeping the things you’re thankful for in your mind, you can reduce stress and enhance your mood.
All of these effects combine to create new opportunities in your life that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. So, go ahead…start your own gratitude practice and welcome more of what brings you joy and peace. You’ll be glad you did!
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”. – Oprah Winfrey -