Being grateful on a daily basis for just one week is clinically proven to have had benefits lasting for six months or more by studies by clinical psychologists in the academic field of positive psychology. Spiritual masters have known and advocated gratitude for literally millenia. Personal development gurus also state that gratitude is a practice works for success, happiness and abundance.
But how do you "be grateful?" The simple answer is do the opposite of being ungrateful or feeling that there is nothing to be grateful for. There are always millions of reasons to be grateful. The opportunity for gratitude is limitlessly abundant. You can never run out of things to be grateful for, because the universe never ceases to support you, even when it seems things are going wrong.
In fact, things seeming that they are going wrong is simply the universe pointing out that there is a big reason to be grateful! Why don't people get the lesson and continue to act as victims of a cruel and unfair world? It is just a valuable life lesson - a lesson in gratitude. Gratitude is not limited to winning the lottery, getting on TV or passing the exams. To be grateful can mean to be abundant and rich, right now with what you have got.
I personally guarantee that around you, right now, you have more than 50 things you could be grateful for. You see, gratitude is a choice. Choosing to be grateful activates positive thoughts and feelings. It is even proven to improve spiritual connection by clinical psychological studies. For a start, you are reading this article at a computer most likely. Can't you be grateful for the technology? Of course you can.
How about having food on the table? What about clothes? Do you have any friends? What if you could be grateful for those things you take for grantid? This is not an excuse to beat yourself up, or a criticism that says you "ought to be" grateful. This can be counterproductive. The old cliche of telling your children to "think of the poor starving children in Ethiopia" to get them to finish their plate never served those children in Ethiopia. If anything it taught children to stuff themselves beyond their physical need, worse yet created food addictions and obesity.
What this article is saying is that if you do choose to be grateful, even and especially, starting with the small things, that maybe have been taken for grantid, then increased happiness in some capacity is actually guaranteed if it is formed into a daily habit over the course, preferably of 21 days or more. If you don't know how to be grateful, start today. If you have ANY worries in your life, start being grateful today. It will powerfully shift your focus allowing those problems that you have been holding onto to be resolved by you or dissolved by you...
Probably the best way to start the habit of gratitude in a world that is dominated by a media negativity for a majority of people is to get pen onto paper. This will get your cortical brain working again and take you out of the arousal state into calm composure. You'll be thinking again. Getting down on paper 10 things that you could be grateful for - even if you feel there is nothing to be grateful for is like planting a seed that will alter your destiny. Maybe the changes will be subtle at first, but there will be changes.
Here is an example gratitude list of small and big things that anyone could be grateful for, especially when your holding on to stuff which serves little sane or real purpose in order to complain, to worry or to gain sympathy for the problem that noone created but you in the first place. This is a random list. It is advised that you make your own list. Starting now. Right now. Not later. Not when you've finished the article, checked your email or anything else. But right now. Put gratitude into action and see what it does for you.
1. Having a computer and having the time to read an article on it. 2. Food on the table all the life so far - wouldn't be alive if that was not true. 3. Living in a country with good health care and a stable society. 4. Being able to improve myself using a proven technique - gratitude 5. To be able to be grateful just for nature - not needing material riches in order to be happy - happiness is a choice and I choose to be happy today 6. Cashflow and having the money to be able to do what I want if I really choose to do it 7. Hands, arms, legs, feet, eyes, ears, voice that work well. 8. Knowledge about X subject 9. A family that loves and cares about me. 10. Movies that have cost millions to make that I can watch for a minute fraction of that cost
Ok, its possible that not all of those do apply to you, but for the majority of people, most of those things are fairly modest things to be grateful for. You see, you can always be grateful. Not because you should or you ought. Not because God will punish you if you are not grateful. But because it will increase your own personal abundance, success and happiness. Do it for you! Be grateful today and everyday and watch how your life begins to improve in every area.
One last thing. Let's say you've got a really bad challenge on at the moment that seems like it just cannot be resolved. Maybe its a longstanding health issue, or maybe you've been stuck in a self created or "natural disaster" created financial situation that has been bugging you. Sometimes, these seemingly unfortunate events can be completely turned around when looking for the good in the situation. Ask youself: what in this situation could I be grateful for? Keep digging for answers to this question and similar other questions...
In this way you will find positive and start off on a new track towards the already expansive realms of solution - and excitement, enthusiasm, peace of mind and joy, instead of into the expanding problem and what comes with it - anxiety, unhappiness, frustration etc. Maybe it is an opportunity for you to learn. Or to meet someone, or to get your life finally into gear in the way you really wanted. Maybe the challenge will enable you to help others once you have got through it yourself. The more reasons you can find to be grateful, right here and now, the more quickly you will find a way to resolve your challenge in a way that is for your highest good. Surprise yourself today by making a big list of things you could feel gratitude about and cultivate those feelings of gratitude. You'll find gratitude is a pleasure rather than a pain. And a gift rather than a chore. Go for it!