Be grateful and be grateful often. Gratitude is a potent fertilizer for everything we want to attract in our lives. It makes all that we appreciate multiply, and sometimes it even makes the little things turn into big things.
When we appreciate having clean air to breathe and food in our fridge, it puts us in an abundance mindset. We all are aware of the power of the mind. Focusing on the bounties we already have gives us more bounties. It’s that simple. Even if we are drowning in debt or living paycheck to paycheck, we can adopt this outlook. When we focus on lack, it too gives us more of just that.
If you’re reading this and denying its legitimacy, then experiment with it in your own life. Physically write down just three things you’re grateful for at the end of every day. The activity is simple yet powerful, and it will force you to think. Do this every day for one month and see what happens. Even if you can’t think of anything you’re grateful for at the moment, really observe the bare bones of your life and find gratitude there. Are you healthy? Do you have a roof over your head? People that love you? Write it down and feel the warmth of appreciation as you do.
A month ago I acquired a gratitude buddy. She and I share three things we’re thankful for at the end of each day. Sometimes it’s difficult to think of anything, especially when I’ve had a particularly miserable day. But this is the whole purpose of the exercise. It’s meant to make you search for gratitude in places you might not have looked for it otherwise. This probably isn’t new information to you, since many of us are familiar with The Secret series by Rhonda Byrne. However, how many of us actually put it into practice on a daily basis?
Since I started writing to my gratitude partner a little over a month ago, I’ve managed to land my dream apartment, went from being at the very bottom in my workplace to the top, went from being a complete loner to being surrounded by people I adore, had large amounts of money come to me in strange and unexpected ways, and received a mouthwatering offer from my boss that I couldn’t turn down. This all happened in the span of about a week. And I know that some will see coincidences where others will see pure magic. But if you’re one of those people who wants to change their life and is open to stretching their belief system to something a little grander, then participate in this experiment. If after one month, nothing changes, you will have lost nothing. At the very least you will have gained a minty fresh perspective on your life.
Studies have even shown that practicing gratitude improves sleep, reduces stress, boosts generosity, and decreases materialism. It also drastically enhances our relationships. Gratitude inevitably gives us hope. And hope makes us unstoppable.
Gratitude makes us more resilient. It heartens humility. It can even help us conquer negative thought patterns, alleviate illness, and trounce depression. If none of these benefits seem worth it to you, then keep doing exactly what you’re doing. The best part about gratitude is that it’s free and it doesn’t take very long to give. It does, however, require routine. So keep a journal by your bedside. Download a gratitude app that will send you reminders in the evenings, or make yourself accountable by choosing someone to be your gratitude buddy. Treat it like homework if you must, but enjoy it.
Anyone can form a new habit. It just takes a little discipline at first. Give yourself one month and jot down grateful sentiments religiously. Once you start noticing changes in your life, hopefully this will encourage you to cultivate the habit. The worst thing you could do is break out of the habit right when things start looking up.
When we’re suddenly feeling better after taking medication for an illness, it can be tempting to stop taking our daily doses. Doctors often need to remind us that even once we start feeling healthy, we need to complete the full course of the medication. It’s the same with gratitude (or any good habit, for that matter). Don’t stop when you finally start getting the results you want; instead, maybe consider spending more time on the activity and reciting even more things to be grateful for.
Rather than writing down three things, write down five or 10. And don’t just write what you’re grateful for, write why you’re grateful for it. Write about the way it makes you feel. If you do, I promise your life will change for the better, whether you believe it right now or not.