Many of us are familiar with feelings of dissatisfaction. We’re not successful enough, our relationships aren’t progressing, we’re not living up to our full potential. A chronic dissatisfaction that leads us to feel envy towards others and disappointment within ourselves. Sometimes, it feels like we’re not in control of our lives.
How can we stop these impulses?
We’re all familiar with wellness products that imply that it’s all our fault for not working hard enough, leading to further dissatisfaction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective in dealing with negative emotions, but it’s not always a viable option. Luckily, scientists found a surprising predictor of how happy people are, one that is easier to bring into our lives: gratitude.
Gratitude And Its Consequences
Being grateful is the ability to express appreciation for anything you receive, be it from people or from the Universe as a whole. Scientists found that gratitude stimulates the pathways in your brain involved in feelings of happiness, in forming social bonds and in reliving good memories. It also directly counteracts envy and narcissism. In a way, gratitude is the easiest way to avoid many of the traps that the modern world has set up for you. For example, if you’re grateful for what you’re able to achieve, it’s less likely that you’ll quickly brush it off. If you feel daft and empty, always looking for the next biggest thing, gratitude can help you become more satisfied with yourself.
The Gratitude Loop
When one is aware of the importance of what they have, they become more confident and compassionate. This can trigger a feedback loop. The state of positivity you get by being grateful can help you connect with more people, leading to positive experiences that are in turn a boost to your self-esteem and wellbeing.
How To Increase Your Gratitude – Gratitude Journaling
There are various ways to bring more gratitude into your life. The gratitude exercise with the most research behind it is gratitude journaling. Writing is a proven way to get a glimpse of what we are, to comprehend our experiences, and to make sense of our lives. Once a week, sit down for a few minutes and write ten good things that happened to you. You don’t need to wait for life-changing events. Start simply. Maybe a stranger was kind to you or you got to spend some time with a friend that you hadn’t seen in a long time. You can be grateful for how good chocolate tastes or for a cat letting you stroke his head gently.
I’ve been gratitude journaling daily for about 5 months now. My mood improved and I’ve become more appreciative of both the small and big things in life.
Other Ways to Increase Gratitude
If pen and paper is not your style, take some time for yourself. You can try connecting with nature. You can be grateful for a lovely summer day or for the beauty of the trees around you. Think about the lessons you learned from hardships in your life. They made you strong and more resilient. Let go of any resentment left.
Having said that, we’ve made some music to bring some positive energy and increase gratitude in your life. Music speaks to the soul, and it makes it a bit easier to get into practicing gratitude.