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On gratitude and raising your happiness level

Whatever you focus on, expands. This is a simple yet very important and true statement. When you focus on lack, your mind operates from a place of loss and discontent thus experiencing and attracting lack. An example can be complaining about minor inconveniences, instead of looking at all the things that make our life rich and full.

Today we’ll talk about gratitude; not only as a word or action but a lifestyle.

The time to give thanks

The month of November brings us a very special holiday, Thanksgiving. A time in the year to appreciate all the things we have such as health in times of COVID-19, our family, our pets, delicious and abundant food, love, etc. During Thanksgiving week you can be mindful and appreciative of everything and everyone you have. And although this is a wonderful celebration, we should incorporate giving thanks daily. We should focus on how far we’ve come and not so much on how far we still have to go. You’ll notice how much better you feel inside. After all, most of us already have all the abundance to be happy.

Practicing gratitude

Many believe building the capacity to be grateful is hard, the truth is it’s just a matter of practice. Psychology professor and gratitude researcher, Robert Emmons, explains that there are two key components of practicing gratitude: affirming the good things we’ve received and acknowledging the role other people play in providing our lives with goodness. Here are some ways to practice gratitude daily:

  • Make a list of the many things you’re grateful for.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Recall moments of gratitude associated with ordinary events, this gives you the potential to interweave a sustainable theme of gratefulness into your life.
  • Ask yourself these three questions: what have I received from __?, what have I given to __?, and what troubles and difficulty have I caused?
  • Express gratitude to others. This can be in ordinary moments such as saying thanks to a waiter or good morning to your office coworkers.
  • Meditate on your relationships and appreciation for your parents, friends, siblings, work associates, children, partners, or tangible items you’ve taken for granted.

These exercises are easy and help you go inward and become aware of how full your life already is. Research shows that expressing gratitude raises your happiness by 25%. It also brings a wide range of benefits such as strengthening your immune system, feeling optimistic, improving sleep, being more generous and helpful, and feeling less lonely or isolated. Practicing gratitude will make you focus on abundance, and you’ll notice how your life becomes more fulfilled than ever before!