December 29, 2013

When All Else Fails, Choose Gratitude

Posted in Inspiring Stories tagged at 3:38 pm by tiffanyannbrown

This holiday season there were so many things I came across that reminded me of the importance of practicing gratitude, that I decided it would be worth the time to write a post about this simple, yet overlooked concept.

From the logical standpoint, if you really stop to think about the unhappy people in your life, chances are they are only focusing on themselves and their problems. The more they focus on themselves and the more they focus on their problems, it’s almost as if their problems grow worse by the minute. And on the flip side, for the people who focus on being positive and seeing the best in life, they generally manage to keep their heads above water no matter what the circumstances. It’s what the book The Secret is all about.

One day while skimming my news feed on Facebook, I came across this video being shared by several of my friends, so I decided to watch it. It turned out to be an ultimate expression of one individual’s gratitude and how she placed the people she was grateful for, before herself:

Needless to say, I truly believe that practicing gratitude is the secret to a happy life. Being grateful for what you have, despite your circumstances, leads to appreciating the best in the world around you at any given moment, and results in a multitude of benefits including increased health and well-being, less overall stress, a longer life span, higher income, fewer fights, stronger ties within your local community, and better grades (for those in school obviously) … at least, according to this infographic:

Gratitude (Image Source)

However, it’s important to remember that being grateful and practicing gratitude are two different things. From an article I came across entitled “Six Habits of Highly Grateful People,” the author cautions that “gratitude doesn’t make problems and threats disappear.” Rather, it means that you increase your chances of psychologically surviving hard times and stand a chance to be happier in the good times.

People who practice gratitude regularly exude a sense of love, peace, and groundedness. They naturally draw people in rather than push them away. They’re nice to be around and they’re easy to please. Surrounding yourself with people who are grateful for what they have, helps you to pay attention to the things you are grateful for in your own life. So why not be grateful?

For some practical tips on cultivating gratitude, visit UC Berkeley’s page about The Expanding Gratitude Project.


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