Gratitude - the most powerful force in the universe
“The more you thank life, the more life gives you to be thankful for.”
Did you know that practicing gratitude on a regular basis is linked with stronger health, increased happiness, enhanced mental strength, deeper relationships and better sleep?
With so many positive impacts on one’s overall well-being, gratitude may be one of the most simple, significant and free tools that can help you live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life - so, how come most of us still seem to be more focused on what’s lacking in our lives then we are on what we can already be thankful for?
The endless pursuit of a lifetime happiness
“The secret to having it all is knowing that you already do.”
Most of us are living our daily lives at a very fast pace. It seems as though we are always rushing somewhere, always trying to reach that ultimate goal that will finally make our lives perfect and bring us life-lasting happiness. But somehow, our final goal seems to keep slipping right underneath our fingers again and again:
We finally got a job that we love, but we want a higher salary.
We are living in a cozy apartment, but we want a house with a pool.
We have a supportive partner, but we want them to be more romantic.
This tiresome quest for the perfect life where every little thing is going to be exactly as we want, never really ends. As soon as we achieve one of our goals, we are already reaching for a higher one - which is great from a perspective of staying motivated to make the most out of our lives. However, if we just keep reaching for more and more without even realizing what we have already accomplished, without enjoying the fruits of our labour and appreciating everything that is already in our lives, what is the point of achieving it all in the first place?
Getting completely lost in obsessive thinking about everything missing from our lives, we often fail to notice all the amazing things that we already have.
Sometimes all we need is a new perspective
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. - Wayne Dyer
What if, instead of relentlessly searching for that one last thing that will finally make us feel whole and happy, we just stopped. We just stopped for a second and looked around to see what might already be there all along, but somehow we just didn’t seem to notice it - we were simply taking it for granted.
Happiness is not about getting all you want. It’s about appreciating all you have.
If we looked at life again now, we might see that:
While we could still be struggling to find a job, we already have one that actually fills us with a sense of purpose and joy.
While we could not even have a home to go to, we already have a beautiful and warm apartment.
While we could still be searching for our better half, we already have a caring and supportive partner.
By making such a small shift in thinking, our whole perspective instantly changes - instead of concentrating on every little thing that seems to be lacking in our life, we suddenly start to see how many of the things that we have are actually just as we want them to be, how many things in our life we can already be so grateful for.
Seeing our life from this point of view leads to a feeling of fulfillment without the need to grab for something from the outside.
Gratitude is a way of life
Life is a series of thousands of tiny little miracles. Notice them.
- Road Dahl
When we practice gratitude, either by reflecting on or expressing the things we are thankful for, our brain instantly releases dopamine and serotonin, also known as the happy hormones, which have a positive impact on our mood, motivation, willpower and physical health.
The more we practice gratitude, the stronger neural connection forms in our brain, shifting our focus from negative thinking and worrying to gratitude and positivity.
Living a life of gratitude is not something we achieve overnight, but rather through slowly integrating the practice of gratefulness into our daily lives. To help you with your daily practice, InsideOut Gratitude Bracelet is here to keep reminding you to take the time to appreciate the good things in your life.
You can start by simply thinking about three good things in your life you are grateful for at the moment. While this practice might be difficult at the beginning, you will soon start to notice more and more wonderful things in your life that surround you all the time (even when you’re having a bad day) that you simply weren’t paying attention to before - like the beautiful sound of birds, the gentle warmth of the sun, having access to drinking water etc.
With continuous practice of gratitude, we just might realize that while we were looking for happiness everywhere around, it was actually inside of us the entire time.