Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius
When I was 17 I inherited a lemon of a car. Now don’t get me wrong, this car gave me life for the 5 months I drove it. But it was so jacked up that you had to drive it with both feet (it was an automatic), it would run hot if you turned the air off (awesome in the summer, hell in the winter).
Even though this car was crappy, I still remember being so grateful for it when my mom passed it down to me. Because having a car sure as hell beats walking.
Practicing gratitude to cultivate joy & happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Research studies show that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, health, performance, and well-being.
Although we know how awesome an attitude of gratitude is, it still can be difficult to sustain everyday. Because, it’s human nature to notice what is broken or lacking in our lives. Therefore in order to achieve joy, we must develop ways of viewing the world around us. And that take time.
[clickToTweet tweet=” When you give thanks for what you have you give yourself permission to see all of life as an a blessing.” quote=” When you give thanks for what you have, instead of complaining about what you don’t, you give yourself permission to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.”]
Which is why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When you give thanks for what you have, instead of complaining about what you don’t, you give yourselves permission to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.
Now I’m not asking you to go through life as a young Sansa Stark and take a naive optimistic approach about the ways of the world.
I’m asking you to be mindful of where you put your focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist. There’s no denying this. But so does laughter, ice cream, and warm hugs.
When you focus on the gifts of life, you gain a feeling of well- being.
Gratitude keeps things balanced and gives hope.
How To Be Happy By Practicing Gratitude
- Keep a daily or weekly gratitude journal to list things you are thankful. I explain how to do this in my free video training, Cultivating Joy (you can watch it here).
- Make a gratitude collage using drawing or pictures.
- Practice gratitude at the dinner table.
- Make it part of your nighttime routine.
- Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
- When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You’ll be amazed by how much better you’ll feel.
As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you’ll be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you’ll become.