6 Ways Gratitude Is the Ultimate Way to Feel Happiness, Joy and Contentment
I have discovered that gratitude in itself is the grandest way to fill mornings, days and nights with joy and contentment. Gratitude is an emotional experience, a belief and happy memories – and isn’t about your stuff. Feeling appreciation about the past, present and future and about the simple pleasures in life is much more important than the stuff you have. We tend to get caught up in the noise in our lives, the worries and stressors in our jobs, personal lives or thoughts in our head. Practising gratitude improves our health, puts things in perspective, strengthens relationships and makes us want to want what we have.
Appreciate the simple things in life that millions in the world don’t have
Flip of a switch and appreciate that you have electricity. In the morning you have hot and cold running water. Have gratitude for shelter, family, your eyes, teeth, legs to walk on, food and a steady job. Millions of people live without one or more of these.
Give thanks to 5 people or pets in your life each morning that bring or brought you happiness
Upon waking give thanks to people or pets in your life you are grateful for. Picture their face and mouth a silent thanks to each one. Often I include my dog Jake that passed away last year in this exercise. His unconditional love will be something I will feel gratitude for the rest of my life.
Let go of silly worries and stop judging people
In a past article I recommended to stop ruminating about worries that you have no control over. I have also started to wish people that I judge to “Have a nice day” instead of letting their annoyances bother me. This goes to slow people in the grocery line and bad drivers. I now feel a much higher level of gratitude, compassion and kindness during the day, instead of stress or negative emotions. Make this a daily practise.
Give someone in your life a compliment or thanks each day
Give thanks to someone you appreciate each day or share a special moment with them. I take a walk at lunch each day with my co-workers and we share a wonderful moment of nature together. Works wonders for the soul.
Become involved in a cause that is meaningful to you
I contribute to orphaned children in Africa through SOS Villages and give micro loans to improvised people all around the world through Kiva. I am making a difference in people’s lives. How can you make a difference instead of buying more stuff? How can you show more appreciation and gratitude for all that you have, and give something away to support a cause that is important to you – like world hunger?
Dance, get out in nature, travel, put on some music and meet a friend
While making supper I felt gratitude for the plentiful food surrounding me and danced to a few tunes while cooking another wonderful meal. Find the time to celebrate and appreciate life. Express your gratitude for being able to travel. Meet a friend and get out in nature to marvel at this beautiful planet spinning in a universe surrounded by billions of stars.
Terry Vermeylen is the founder of My Life Changes and wants you to make gratitude a personal value in his tracker and help you to cultivate new habits to bring infinite joy into your life.
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