“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
Several studies have found that practicing gratitude can actually help you feel a lot better and happier in life from a psychological viewpoint. It can also greatly improve your health other than reducing your stress levels and improving your mood. During the 1980s, academic psychologists studied the effects of gratitude and various other positive psychological tools.
The researchers found that practicing gratitude regularly can lead to reduced depression, decreased stress and anxiety, improved happiness, and overall emotional well-being.
Moreover, in 2003 psychologists Robert Emmons of the University of California and Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas conducted a study on gratitude and how it impacts our general well-being. The two psychologists asked hundreds of university students to write down a list of things they were grateful for and submit their gratitude list on a weekly basis.
At the end of the study, it was found that the students were a lot happier and their lives had visibly improved. The researchers concluded that practicing gratitude can boost your happiness levels by almost 25%.
Why gratitude matters?
“Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency, and you will attract much better things.” – Rhonda Byrne
You can never imagine how simply being thankful can bring such a huge change in your life until you start practicing gratitude. It will not only make you a more positive and happier person, but gratitude will also make you more productive, more generous, more confident, an achiever, and much better in all your relationships.
Here’s how incorporating gratitude into your life will change your life
1. Gratitude makes you positive.
Practicing gratitude helps to shift your mental focus from shortage, lack, and negativity to developing a more abundance mindset. What we focus on in life, is exactly what we get. It’s what we move towards. It’s what the universe gives us. When you are hooked on to negativity, you will keep focusing on your problems even though they can be solved easily. On the contrary, when you are optimistic, you will only focus on achieving your goals despite having numerous obstacles.
By focusing on what you have in your life and being thankful for it, you can gain a monumental shift in what you focus on in life. Gratitude helps you move from a state of shortage to a state of abundance.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
2. Gratitude enhances the quality of your life.
Gratitude can change your life by greatly improving how you live. From your emotional strength and mental health to spiritual wellness and even physical health, all can be improved by the mere act of practicing gratitude.
A number of studies have associated the practice of gratitude with experiencing satisfaction in life. It’s no surprise that grateful people are contented, satiated, and fulfilled.
3. Gratitude makes you happier.
When you practice gratitude regularly, you can drastically change your life and be a lot happier. As I mentioned earlier, the study by psychologists Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough found that their control group of participants were a lot happier about life simply by writing down things they were thankful for.
This forces you to appreciate what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t. Being grateful makes you feel better about yourself and allows you to enjoy yourself and your life just the way it is.
4. Gratitude improves your faith.
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson
Regardless of what religion you believe in, gratitude can enhance and strengthen your faith in God or the Universe and eventually transform your life. By being grateful, you develop a deeper appreciation for the blessings you receive in life. This not only improves your belief in your spiritual self and the Supreme Being, but it also strengthens your faith.
You start to believe that everything is happening for a reason and you have the strength to stand whatever storm you are facing. That you will be able to overcome every obstacle and emerge victoriously. It gives you the inner strength to accomplish your goals and become a more empathetic and better person.
5. Gratitude gives you mental peace.
When you stop believing you will be happy when you do this or achieve that, when you stop continually pursuing something when you are grateful for exactly what you have right now, you experience a certain type of inner peace. You develop an inner belief that gives you peace of mind which can never be experienced when you live with constant expectation.