Over the course of the last few weeks and couple of months, I’ve had multiple people point it out to me how much I’ve changed lately and that I’m much happier. Some have even thanked me for having a positive impact on them and asked exactly what I’m doing that’s clearly had such obvious changes in my happiness.
I realized internally that things were shifting but had no idea how obvious to was to people outside and it’s because of these people who have reached out (seriously I am so grateful that you guys did) that pushed me to start creating videos and writing content on the exact things: the tools and inspiration that I implemented to help get me so much happier.
I don’t want to be another person just sharing inspiring stories or quick tips, I want to share what’s working for me and digging deeper into the changes I’ve made so that you can put them into practice too. Because seriously guys, this stuff feels so good that I am just bursting with pride wanting to help other people feel as good too.
I was in what felt like a rut for years and had no idea that life could be better.
Spoiler alert: it can.
I will be honest that not everything is going to work for everyone. Why? Because some people just aren’t ready to make the change yet. But if you are then I can guarantee that these small tips will most certainly help change your life.
There are a few key things that I think everyone should be doing because of the massive impact it can have on your life and today we’re going to discuss what I think is the easiest and most important tool.
Before you click away thinking that it’s too easy, stay with me.
There are many “little” things that so many people turn away from because they think that it is just too easy. They think, “There’s no way gratitude is going to change my life.” Well, have you tried? How do you know for sure?
The truth that is you probably didn’t try and don’t know. So I’ll let you in on a little secret…gratitude will change your life. And yes, it is that simple.
Some things are really, ridiculously easy to do, the hard part is just making a habit of it. Or we like to tell ourselves that’s the hard part. The truth is that it’s not that hard either, we just tend to work it up in our minds.
Practicing gratitude daily helps your mind shift from a negative to a positive state.
Being grateful will encourage you to feel happy with what you already have and contribute to helping you stop always wanting more. Sure, you may still want the newer version of the iPhone or a bigger house, nicer car or more clothes but being grateful will certainly help you feel these constant needing thoughts less and replace them with happiness for what you already own.
Think about people who are poor. How can they be so happy and you, someone who has so much be unhappy?
They’re grateful for what they have even if it’s much less than what you have.
If you’re reading this you’re probably spoiled in some sense which means that you already have a ton to be grateful for. You just have to make the mind shift to see how great the things you have already are.
If you don’t believe me when I say that gratitude is actually really, ridiculously beneficial for you, then believe science.
It has been proven that gratitude improves our mental health, makes people happier and less depressed. Its been proven that practicing gratitude affects the part of your brain (hypothalamus) which controls eating, drinking and sleeping and also influences your metabolism and stress.
Can you imagine how awesome you would feel if your eating, drinking, sleeping and stress improved? You’d feel fucking awesome, that’s how’d feel.
Practicing gratitude also works a part of the brain that releases dopamine, a chemical that makes you “feel good” and tells the brain to keep doing that same thing. So every time you practice gratitude your brain will be saying “Hell yeah! Give me some more of that gratitude!”
It’s impossible for you to feel both positive and negative at the same time. Practicing gratitude will force you to think positively and the more you do it the easier it will become.
What Gratitude is Not
It’s very important to realize that gratitude is not comparing. Do not look at others and think that you’re grateful because you have more. This kind of ruins the point. You want to be grateful for what you have not because of what others don’t have.
How Does Gratitude Work?
First off, you have to truly appreciate what you have. To do this, try thinking about what it would feel like to not have it. Not so great, huh?
Now you can truly appreciate your car, home, comfy bed, the food on your plate, the clothes on your back, your body, anything!
How to Put Gratitude into Practice
Make it a habit, duh.
I know, I know, saying that you’re going to make it a habit is easier said than done, so why don’t you start with doing it right now? Or when you’re done reading this article. You are the only one who can hold yourself accountable.
Without you and your commitment, there is no change.
And while we’re on the topic of commitment, it’s fine to make yourself goals like “I want to practice gratitude 5 days a week.” But if you miss a day it’s important to forgive yourself and do let it go. What can you do? Nothing! It’s the past and there is always next week or today.
If you do it now, like right now, you can feel the effects of what gratitude does for your mind and mood and you’ve already completed your first day of making this a habit.
I personally started off with writing down three things a day that I’m grateful for.
I find it helps to do it at the same time every day so I’ve incorporated this into my daily routine. Attaching a new habit to an old habit also helps make the habit easier to adapt. For example, I drink tea every morning so I journal and write the three things I’m grateful for as I drink my tea.
I’m at the point now that I’m so practiced that now I realize I’m practicing gratitude throughout the day like when I’m taking a walk and the sun is shining or opening my laptop and realize that I’m so grateful this piece of technology allows me to do my work.
Your brain really does like it and will start doing more of it on its own.
I also find that it’s helpful to say why you’re grateful for something. For example, I’m grateful for my fuzzy socks because they keep my feet warm and are comfy AF. Or I’m grateful for my body because it carries me throughout the day every day.
Try to think not only of the things around you but also the people you surround yourself with, what’s on you, what you’re putting into your body, what you’re using and your body itself (including your flaws). This is the key that will help you love yourself more: being grateful for your body despite your flaws.
At first, you may be grateful for the big things but over time I can guarantee you will start to notice the little things and that’s when you’ll realize how grateful for you are for your entire life, when you’ll really notice the change in your happiness, mental well being and truly start to love yourself.