More happiness? Better health? Deeper relationships? Increased productivity?
What if I told you that just one thing can help you in all of those areas?
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Gratitude makes us happier.
A five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent.a1,a2,a3 That’s the same impact as doubling your income!
How can a free five minute activity compare? Gratitude improves our health, relationships, emotions, personality, and career.
Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends, deepen our existing relationships, and improve our marriage.
Even in the toughest economic or political times, there are numerous reasons to be grateful. The old saying tells us to count our blessings, but sometimes that can be difficult to do. It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving for you to feel grateful and express that gratitude. Every now and then, it doesn’t hurt to take stock of just how good you have it.
Here are eight reasons to be grateful:
Life: You woke up this morning, breathing and with a heartbeat. You get to enjoy today and hopefully wake up again tomorrow. You get to see your family and friends, and enjoy food and life’s luxuries. It can sometimes be easy to forget to be grateful for the most basic thing: life itself.
Health: ”At least you have your health.” Heard that before? According to Valerie Reiss, holistic living editor for Beliefnet, you should be grateful for your health because it is the foundation of who you are. According to Reiss, you don’t necessarily need to be physically and mentally well to feel healthy, but when you do feel healthy, it’s one of life’s greatest blessings.
Employment: People often complain about their job, calling it the daily grind or worse. But having a job is something for which you can really be grateful. A job probably gets you out of the house every day and adds variety into your daily life so that you are not just sitting at home on the couch. Even more, a job helps you pay your bills and means you’re not standing in the unemployment line or wondering how you’re going to eat each week. So even if you don’t have the most exciting job in the world, remember to feel some gratitude for it every once in a while, because your life would be a lot different without it.
Family: Some people love ‘em, some don’t: families. If you’re one of those whose family loves and supports you, consider yourself lucky and be grateful. Feel thankful and express that gratefulness if you are lucky enough to have family who is more like friends: They’re people you can confide in and who will be there for you through thick and thin. Many people don’t have that kind of family, so be grateful. And remember to tell them how lucky you are.
Friends: You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends. If you’ve chosen good ones, remember to be grateful for them and express your love and appreciation. Friends help you remember who you really are and who you can become. They remind you what you want and need, as well as what you deserve. True friends are there through your best and darkest times. Appreciate that connection. Express your gratitude every chance you get.
The outdoors: How lucky are we to have parks and trees and rivers and trails and animals and mountains and hills and oceans? The outdoors is such a blessing, and one for which we should always be grateful. According to Reiss, the natural outdoors helps you feel connected to every aspect of this earth — the ground, the sky and everything and every creature in between.
Free time: You may feel like you never have enough, but you should be grateful for what free time you do have. Free time lets you be you. You get to do your favorite things, no matter what those are. Free time allows you to sleep more, enjoy the outdoors, relax at home, garden, fish— whatever you enjoy most. Be grateful that you get the opportunity to do the things you love.
Modern technology: Though it’s the one material thing on this list, it is important to feel gratefulness for today’s modern gadgets. Think about how much they contribute to your daily life. For some, they help them do their jobs every day. Some people use them solely as a form of entertainment. For some, they provide a beat to keep you motivated during your run or gym workout. Feel even more gratefulness for the modern techno-gadgets that keep people alive, like pacemakers. Today’s gadgets do so much to keep our lives going that we often overlook them. Instead, the next time you’re typing away on that computer, remember to appreciate it and be grateful.
Let’s start saying ‘Thank You’ today to all the amazing things and people life has given us.