Want to know a tiny secret about happiness?
Well, if you clicked on the headline, you don’t probably need to guess: it’s practicing gratitude!
I stumbled across this little secret while reading this fascinating book: The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha. One particular chapter resonated with me and strangely enough, it was about astronomy and how astronomy was a humbling experience.
But what does astronomy have to do with happiness and daily gratitude?
Well, think about it.
Our galaxy harbors billions upon billions of stars and our galaxy is just one of countless in the universe. Our Earth is just one tiny blue speck in the grand beauty and vastness of space. We and the problems we dwell on are an even tinier speck!
Thinking about your problems in relativity to the grandness around you helps you escape the continuous loop of self-doubt. You begin to realize that your problems aren’t as big as you might make them out to be.
And in realizing this, I decided that instead of focusing on everything that was wrong, I was going to be more appreciative of all the great and amazing things in my life.
How would I do this?
How Daily Gratitude Transformed My Life
Every day, for 30 days, I would make a conscious effort to practice gratitude by appreciating just one thing in my life. That’s right. Just one.
After 30 days, guess what happened? I emerged a different person! In fact, here are four amazing improvements I experienced after practicing gratitude every day for 30 days.
1. Daily Gratitude improved my resilience.
Practicing gratitude encourages you to look for what is good and right in your life, which can be incredibly empowering. Each time I gave gratitude to something in my life, I was increasing my mental fortitude.
This mental fortitude can be incredibly useful during hardships because you know that there are still amazing things in your life.
Even everyday inconveniences become easier to reframe into a moment of gratitude.
Long day at work? Remember how amazing it is that you have a job to sustain you.
Did somebody cut you off in traffic? How awesome it is that you have a vehicle transport you from point A to B.
There are blessings in your life every day. You just have to remember to count them!
2. Daily Gratitude encouraged happiness for others without envy.
Envy is a tricky vice that can morph into resentment if you don’t keep it in check.
Envy and criticism were negative emotions that I struggled with, especially in today’s digital age. Social media offered innumerable opportunities to compare myself to other people.
Look at where she’s working. Oh wow, he started his master’s program! She looks like she really knows what she’s doing with her life.
It becomes so easy for our self-esteem to fall prey to our perceived faults and to then judge others who seem to be succeeding to where we believe to be failing.
This will lead you down a slippery slope to unhappiness and self-deprecation. Remember your strengths and don’t allow unproductive comparisons to overshadow them. Remember what makes YOU awesome.
Also, give yourself permission to be happy for other people’s success without envy. If you can do this, it can become a rewarding and empowering feeling.
3. Daily Gratitude deepened my relationships.
During this 30-day challenge, I did something we tend to forget: tell our loved ones how grateful we are to have them in our lives.
Isn’t it strange that we don’t do this as often as we should?
After all, don’t you appreciate feeling noticed, loved and acknowledged?
I do! So, why not make your loved ones feel that way also by telling them exactly that!
For example, while watching a movie at home with my fiancé, I would just tell him how happy it makes me to spend time together. Or when catching up with a friend, I would tell them how awesome they are for grabbing lunch with me.
You wouldn’t believe the huge smiles just a few words can create. And it’s so easy! If you want your daily fix of dopamine, compliment somebody! Tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life.
Giving gratitude is free. It’s fast. And it’s easy!
4. Daily Gratitude skyrocketed my productivity.
I don’t know if there is a scientific correlation out there the month I gave gratitude every day was also the month of productivity for me.
A few days before embarking on this daily gratitude challenge, I created Motivationalist, my blog about motivation and happiness. I must admit that it was a great idea starting these two together because I’ve got a lot done while feeling noticeably happier and more fulfilled!
If I had to pinpoint a reason, I speculate that gratitude cleared my head for happy thoughts and inspiration to flow more freely. I became grateful for the creative process and this gratitude transformed into motivation to write!
Who knew something as simple as giving gratitude once per day had such an awesome benefit?
Give gratitude today.
Your life is touched by countless blessings every single day.
Always remember that.
Even when life throws cheap punches at you, do your best to remember something to be grateful for because the problems we carry are just a microscopic speck in the massive universe we live in.
If you’re struggling, start small. Start with one. One thing to be grateful for.
Every day. For 30 days.
Practice gratitude because it’s something worth doing. Be patient and kind to yourself. And remember to tell your loved ones how grateful you are to have them in your life.
These small moments of gratitude will add up and you will realize what an amazing and fulfilling life you have.