How to be happy: Gratitude

“It doesn’t matter if the glass is half empty or half full. Be grateful that you have a glass and there is something in it.”

Before you begin reading this, please take a moment and reflect on your life. Go grab a pen and a piece of paper and jot down either three things in life you are grateful for that you have or three amazing things that happened to you today.

I’ll wait.

Good. Now do that every day for the rest of your life. We go through our busy lives without slowing down for five minutes a day and looking at what is around us. We get dragged down by social media while we compare ourselves to others instead of putting our phone away and looking at how great our lives are too. As I have quickly found out, life is unpredictable and for this reason, it is important to live in the moment for all that we have. So often we think about what we wish we had that we become blinded by the amazing things and people we already have in our lives.

Be grateful for just another day.

It can be easy to get swept away in the fast lane and forget to stop and show your appreciation for what is around you. I think it is important to understand in your gratitude journey that you do not have to wait for the big things in order to be grateful. The habit of being grateful can start right now, in this moment and today. It is important for you to recognize and become self-aware that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for. It can be something as simple as having the sun come out after it has rained for a few days that instantly puts you in a better mood or even a hug each morning from your significant other before they leave for work. By recognizing these small things in life, acting on them and speaking up to say you appreciate it, overall can improve your happiness. You will be surprised how many small things you can fit into your day that you are grateful for!

It’s not all about getting what you want.

There are people that we cross paths with that have everything that it would take to be happy but they are not because they want more. There are also people that have lots of misfortune and they are deeply happy. Why is this? This is because it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but it is gratefulness that makes us happy. Happiness is not always about getting what you want. Think bigger then yourself. Give instead of take. Become aware that someone else’s struggles are probably worse than yours. Once you start putting other people before yourself, you will find a much deeper appreciation for what you do have then what you do not.

Learn to be grateful for the struggles too.

It is very important to find gratitude in your challenges too. Think about the challenges you face every day. Do the challenges involve a lawn that needs to be mowed, windows that need to be washed or gutters that need to be fixed? Be thankful for those challenges because it means you have a home. Or what about the alarm that goes off early in the morning? Be thankful because that means you are alive. How about finding out that the only parking spot left is at the far end of the lot? Be thankful because that means you are capable of walking. We take these challenges and complain about them, but are they really all that bad? It is all about changing your perspective and mindset that can completely change your level of happiness every day. When you look back on the difficult times you have had, you are able to realize how far you have come.

For me, gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of focusing on what they lack or reaching for something new that they believe will make them happier. I truly believe that having a life filled with gratefulness is the secret to happiness. I also believe that a life full of happiness leads to how you treat your body. I believe that these two things, happiness and health are linked together, you can’t have one without the other. This is why I wanted to start off this series with gratefulness, because that comes first. In order to be happy, you have to have a life filled with gratitude and in order to be healthy you need to be happy. In the end, a life well lived is a life fulfilled with gratitude and happiness.

1 thought on “How to be happy: Gratitude”

  1. 100% agree, Lindsey! You have an abundance of energy but it is not limitless—-so why waste one ounce of it being negative or ungrateful? Focus on the positive or you are wasting your precious energy.

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