Grateful. Thankful. Blessed. | The Happy + Healthy Life

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Having gratitude isn’t just about saying “thank you” to the bagger at the grocery store or the kid who holds the door open for you. Gratitude goes much deeper. Being in a state of gratitude is about being aware of and focusing on all the goodness that surrounds you every, single day. 

Yes, every single day. Are your lights on? Thanks, electricity. Are your feet cozy and comfy? 

Thanks, fuzzy socks. Are you thirsty? Thanks, clean water. Are you hungry? Thanks, grocery store that supplies me with food from around the world. Are you sleepy? Thanks, bed. Are you reading this article? Thanks, eyesight. Are you cold? Thanks, winter coat. 

Being in a state of gratitude creates a ripple effect. Just last month, I gave a friend of mine flowers. It brought a smile to her face and made her feel loved. Then she gave me the vase back with a fresh bouquet of flowers. Then I gave it back to her with new flowers. We could continue doing this forever because it not only feels good to give flowers, it feels good to receive flowers. 

Everyone feels appreciated and the cycle of kindness continues. When you show gratitude, more goodness will come your way. 

On the other hand, if you walk around easily irritated, you will attract things that are, well, irritating. 

This gets me thinking about a time I was in a rush. I left late, then I got behind the slowest moving vehicle ever and hit every red light. When I was focused on all the things going wrong, more annoying things happened. 

Whatever you focus on, you will attract more of. So, focus on gratitude and more awesome and amazing things will come your way. 

Gratitude is the secret sauce to living a blessed life. When you are walking around all giddy and happy for all that is around you, you strengthen your faith. Faith is having complete trust or confidence in someone or something and believing in the not yet seen. 

When your faith is strengthened, you get out of your comfort zone and press through your fear. This in turn causes a plethora of goodness to come your way. You reap the benefits. 

If you really want to change your life, then you must start being grateful for all that is around you. Grateful for the beautiful warm, sunny day and the cold, rainy day. Grateful for the slow moving vehicle in front of you and the empty road. Grateful for quick download and the slow Wi-Fi. Grateful for the slow cashier-in-training and the short and speedy “10 items or less” line. 

When you are in a constant and deliberate state of gratitude, you will raise your frequency and manifest more greatness all around you. Seeing all the good around you, rather than focusing on what you don’t have, wakes us up to what’s right in front of you. 

Practicing gratitude makes you happier, strengthens your relationships, reduces depression and improves our health. 

Some ways you can practice gratitude: 

1. Keep a gratitude journal. Make gratitude a daily habit by writing down at least three things you are grateful for each day. Get really specific. I’m grateful for my family changes to I’m grateful for the hug from my son or I’m grateful for the smile on my daughter’s face. Your list of gratitude doesn’t have to be big things. It can be small moments throughout the day. 

2. Notice the little things. Some mornings before we even get out of bed, our minds start swirling with all the things on our to-do list. We get sucked into thinking about our commitments and obligations and forget to pay attention to the beauty around us. Last week, I took a walk around the neighborhood and was overcome with the beauty around me – the colorful fall leaves that fell to the ground, the cool breeze that touched my skin, the puffy clouds that looked like a unicorn, the sounds of leaves crunching under my feet. Noticing the little things allowed me to be thankful for the beauty all around me and left me feeling lighter and less stressed. An easy way to practice being grateful for the little things is paying attention to the beauty around you when you are driving. 

3. Rewire your thoughts. We all have negative thoughts. We are all human. Our minds seem to lean toward the negative things rather than positive. Have you ever been having a great day and then something negative happens? You get an annoying text, someone makes a snide comment, and your day quickly spirals down. All of a sudden your great day went awful. Instead of focusing on all the good you experienced through your day, you focus on the 10 minutes that weren’t so grand. Research proves that if we develop a growth mind set rather than a fixed mind set, we can improve our gratitude and happiness. No one can do this for us. We have to consciously decide to rewire our thoughts. 

4. Say thank you. Say it as often and as much as you can. Say thank you to the person who holds the door open for you. Say thank you to your kids for brushing their teeth without being asked. Say thank you to the teachers that are exhausted and overwhelmed with remote learning. Say thank you to your partner for ordering pizza when it was too much to cook. 

Gratitude doesn’t just happen. Instead of waiting for things to turn around and then expressing gratitude, start deliberately practicing gratitude right now, no matter what your circumstances may be. 

As you practice gratitude daily, you will see joy in your sorrow and wisdom in your mistakes. You can either dwell on what is missing in your life or appreciate everything you already have. 

Gratitude isn’t always easy, especially during this pandemic, but it is essential in living a fulfilled life. 

Gratitude is a choice. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to give thanks and be grateful. Be grateful every day of the year. 

Amy is a certified BARE life coach dedicated to helping others become mentally and physically stronger so they can achieve goals and take control of their life. For more information, email amybarecoach@gmail.com.

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