“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle
I am now about to talk to you about the subject of being grateful like nobody’s talked to you about it before. Are you grateful for waking up in the morning each day? Do you thank your lucky stars that you get to make coffee in the morning? How many times do you thank yourself for striking off that first “to do” goal in the morning?
Listen: being grateful means appreciating yourself and others. There is no room for falsities here — this is the real stuff. That is part of the reason “being grateful” has become a marketing buzzword as of late. Anything positive that is spiritual and helps develop your whole self is bound to be commercialized, right? Anyway, that is beside the point. The real point is this: being grateful equals happiness. Happiness equals an upgraded life. How? Let us talk about that now.
Imagine not feeling empty inside for not having the latest gadgets and tech products storming the world every season. Do you know what it is like to not crave a ’65 Mustang or hot 2018 fashion accessory? When you do not chase things, such as a luxury beach house, a limousine with a chandelier inside it, or even a Netflix subscription, you teach yourself how to be happier with less. Which puts you leagues above your neighbours, who are undoubtedly competing with each other to see who has the best stuff — as if that stuff actually matters.
2. Gratitude Improves Psychological Health.
Being grateful also means asking the big questions. Addicts, for example, may have heard of recovery options. Being grateful for the chance to recover, thus improving their life.
You will learn how to deal with people who do not see eye-to-eye as you. Because you will accept their reality and understand that they see things differently. This will make you say, “Oh, that is how they do things in their own world.” You will accept more readily that people who disagree with you are not wrong (and that you are not right); it is that you both see different versions of the same subject.
“In addition, no evidence indicates that discrete episodes of gratitude are accompanied by particular patterns of physiological arousal or a unique facial display.” (“The Grateful Disposition: A Conceptual and Empirical Topography“; McCullough, Tsang, Emmons)
3. You Are A Calming And Necessary Presence
We talked about being able to see things from others’ point of view. Which certainly makes you wiser than the average hundreds of people you come into contact with each day. But there is a secret benefit to understanding other POVs: being able to disarm aggressive people and prevent fights from breaking out. Being grateful shows you how to help people who are not as emotionally/mentally strong as you, by becoming an open ear for their storms and traumas. This prevents them from blowing the roof off the place and escalating — possibly into violence.
4. Look And Feel Healthier
Aside from lowering stress, practicing the art of [synonym grateful] makes you feel physically healthier. Imagine that! Imagine having less aches, less pain, and not having to rely on medications or groaning all the time about a sore body. Why does this happen? Grateful people, who acknowledge life’s beauty, do all they can to ensure their bodies are optimized and healthy. This means exercising daily, meditating to clear their conscious and psyche of ill wills, eating good (and whole/real) food, as well as doing what they can to make their bodies as pure as possible.
Grab a journal and make it your gratitude-only journal. In it, each morning (or night) flip to an open page. List ten things that you are thankful for (or thankful that happened). For instance: this morning I am thankful that I did 10 kettlebell swings before my first cup of coffee. Those 10 swings got me moving and my blood pumping to handle the day. There is no reason not to start a gratitude journal today.