Seeking happiness itself can actually make you less happy. This is likely because running after happiness focuses on what you don’t have instead of what you’ve already owned. On the other hand, when you cultivate gratitude, it tends to result in greater happiness.
Gratitude is the emotion we feel when we notice something good has come into our lives and appreciate it. Some people feel grateful more often than others. For example, some people feel very happy and grateful every time the sun is shining, while others barely notice such things at all. Being grateful can actually make you happier and here are the reasons why.
1. You’ll See the World in a More Positive Way
People who are more grateful than others will automatically think about the things that happen to them more positively. Most situations that occur in our lives are not exactly good or exactly bad. It is a matter of how we interpret what happens to us plays a big role in how we feel about the situation. For example, after falling off your bike, you could think “I got so lucky that I did not get hurt”, and feel very grateful. Or you could think “I can’t believe I was so stupid to fall off my bike”, and feel really angry.
2. You’ll Be in a Better Mood
Practising gratitude will tend to give you a sense of perspective. Many gratitude coaches recommend starting the day by mentally listing three things you’re grateful for before you even get ready or journal out what you are grateful for at the end of the day. This practice makes a much better sense of what really matters in your life than reaching for your phone all the time. By doing this, you’ll remember more good memories than bad ones. One of the reasons is that grateful people might be better than less grateful people at storing good memory when they happen.
3. You’ll Be Healthier
Grateful people have fewer negative thoughts about the world, and it is easier to fall asleep because they are not lying awake worrying about everything that went wrong that day. For example, you might have noticed that when you worry a lot, you can experience negative feelings in your body, such as headaches, stomach pains or acne. Furthermore, if you’re not getting enough sleep and have a lot of negative emotions, it is bad for your immune system, which makes it difficult for your body to fight off diseases. Gratitude helps us to have fewer negative emotions, it also helps to stop these immune system problems, and this helps to keep us healthy.
4. You Won’t Compare Yourself with Others
Many people like to compare themselves with other people in this modern world that easy access to technology. Every time we scroll through social media, we always get to see people travelling around the world or having that fit and lean body. They seem to have everything and are perfect in our eyes. Comparison is the fastest way to take all of the fun out of life. People who practice gratitude will never compare themselves to other people. They love the way they are and are grateful for everything they already owned.
Chasing happiness is unlikely to bring you joy but focusing on the present and enjoying the moments do bring you joy. Gratitude has a strong positive impact on well-being. It increases self-confidence, enhances positive emotions and makes us more optimistic. Being as consciously and continuously grateful as possible gives you a pathway toward more positivity and contentment.
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