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The month of November is a great month to remember items we are grateful for. So I thought I would do a few articles about gratitude. So let’s look at why gratitude is so important.
There might be days you find it difficult to express gratitude. But gratitude has many benefits that you can tap into…
Gratitude Soothes You
It’s hard to be both stressed and grateful at the same time. While you can’t always choose your circumstances, you can lean into positive vibes by practicing gratitude no matter where you are or what’s going on.
Not only does gratitude soothe you mentally, it can also be good for you physically. Studies have shown that choosing to be grateful can alter your perception of pain, including chronic pain. When we focus on negative items, that is where our mind wanders. When we choose o be grateful and consider the positives of the situation, we can turn a corner.
Gratitude Focuses You
It can be tempting to view all the things you don’t have in your life. Maybe you don’t have a car as nice as your friend’s. Perhaps your job isn’t as glamorous as someone else’s. Maybe you don’t have a lot of money or a big, beautiful house.
But when you embrace gratitude, it helps you focus on the important things in life, like your family, friends, and community. Your relationships matter far more than any material thing you might want.
Gratitude Energizes You
Without gratitude, it’s easy to slip into the victim mindset. You tell yourself things like, “I’m just destined to be a loser. I can’t have an amazing life. I’ve never had it easy, so why should I expect anything to change?”
But gratitude flips the script entirely. Instead of being the victim in the story, you become the hero. The one who overcomes the odds to build a beautiful life filled with blessings and abundance.
Gratitude offers many gifts if you’re willing to change your perspective and look at them. You never know what you might discover when you start viewing life through the lens of gratitude!
What Happens When We Don’t Focus on Gratitude?
When some people think of gratitude, they think of the Thanksgiving holiday. But gratitude is so much more than an annual holiday. It’s a way of life that can have a deep impact on you.
Just as gratitude can have a positive effect on you; refusing to express gratitude has a host of negative effects including these three problems…
When you focus on what you don’t have, it’s easy to develop a poor self-image. For example, if you couldn’t afford braces when you are young. You might grow up, looking in the mirror and focus on how ugly your teeth are.
Over time, this habit leads to developing a poor self-image. Instead of yourself as a beautiful work of art, you are focused on your flaws. The more you focus on your teeth, the less you want to take care of yourself in other areas. This creates a loop of negative thoughts that you carry everywhere you go.
Difficulty with Forgiveness
What if you are in an auto accident with a drunk driver. You survived, but are left with long-term nerve damage down the left side of your body. The other driver walked away without a scratch and without ever apologizing.
Suppose the other driver to gets a light sentence. It could lead to a deep depression because you thought the other person would get a longer sentence. While you suffered every day in pain, the offender walked free and his life was barely impacted.
You might need to write a letter that doesn’t get sent to forgive the other person so you can move forward. Instead of focusing on what the accident has taken away from you, I looked at what it gave you—a second chance at life, maybe a deeper relationship with your family, and a different job that you enjoy.
Paying too much attention to what you don’t have can create a negative mindset. We see so many people on social media with lots of things we don’t have. We wish for those items, but we don’t realize that much of what we see is only part of the picture. Social media only portrays a part of that person’s life.
We feel bad when our lives don’t look as great as someone else that we see. Pause and consider that there is likely more to the story.
We often work hard, but need to remember that we are blessed, even when things are not perfect.
Don’t allow negativity, bitterness, or a poor self-image keep you from living your best life. Gratitude is a choice and it’s one you can make right now, no matter what’s happening around you.
Learn how to design your own gratitude challenge when you download your free workbook! The workbook is in my free resource library along with other printables to help organize different areas of your busy life.
See the next part in the gratefulness series here.