In the face of adversity and challenge life may seem like a daunting task. It is easy at times like this to keep a running tally of how horrible your circumstances are. Studies have found, however, that this thinking may be putting you deeper into the hole you are trying to dig yourself out of.
At every moment in our lives we have something, no matter how small, to be grateful for. It may be a warm house to live in, family to call our own, or even the simple gift of eyesight. If we’re able to continually shift our focus back to these things that make life even that much more enjoyable, we are simultaneously attracting more of that good into our lives.
Think of the most horrible aspect of your life right now. Perhaps you have lost your job, financial security, or a loved one. When dwelling on this particular situation your body has most likely tensed, and you may be feeling anxiety.
Now think of one thing in your life that you are extremely grateful for: a spouse, your health, a new promotion. Feel the difference in your body. Many would say that staying with this positive thought for even a small amount of time lessens their stress and increases their hope for the future.
If you felt even a tiny shift in your attitude from this brief exercise imagine the effects you would have if you made it into a daily practice. Don’t wait for the new job, house, or relationship in order to find your gratitude. Look for the little things in everyday life- a hot shower, a home cooked meal, a hug from your child- and you’ll find that you have a multitude of things to be grateful for.
Robert Eamons of the University of California at Davis, has performed studies that suggest practicing gratitude on a daily basis has the ability to increase a person’s level of happiness by up to 25%. While happiness levels tend to fluctuate according to outside circumstances, a person with a higher level overall will naturally return there after a negative event occurs. Eamons also found that those that practice gratitude on a regular basis tend to be healthier, more creative, and have stronger relationships.
Create an attitude of gratitude today. Make a list or keep a journal of every little thing that you are grateful for and the results will surprise you. This shift in your focus will make you a magnet for stronger relationships, better health, and a more fulfilling work life.
Here is an article that gives an in-depth look into the practice of gratitude:
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