Research has shown that gratitude changes our brains and improves overall health and well-being. It has the power to energize, heal and help us cope with hard times. None of us feels grateful if we’ve lost our job, business, house or a special loved one, but we can be grateful for the other good in our lives. Being grateful is a choice—a prevailing attitude that is relatively immune to the gains and losses that flow in and out of our lives.
When disaster strikes, gratitude provides a more conscious perspective from which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by circumstances. With gratitude, trials and suffering can refine and deepen if we allow them to evolve. Handled properly, crisis can make us more grateful. But how can we be grateful, even in these trying times? Here are 6 easy ways to help you get started.
Though it may sound a little morose, occasionally think about death and loss. According to studies, contemplating endings makes us grateful for the life we currently have. It gives us pause to realize that our life is more valuable than the alternative, leading to a heightened sense of gratitude.
As the adage says, take the time to smell the roses and everything else. Savouring our experiences makes them stickier in our brain. Being more conscious throughout our day and keeping our focus on what’s good rather than what’s wrong, sticks the experience in our brain as a treasured experience. One we are grateful for in the present moment and on reflection.
Entitlement is opposite to gratitude. When we appreciate the good things in life as gifts, not as a birthright, we practice humility, and gratitude bubbles up as the response. A humble person knows that life is a gift to appreciate, not a right to be claimed.
Be grateful to and for people, not just things. When you say ‘thank you’ to a person, your brain registers that something good has happened and that you are more richly enmeshed in a meaningful social relationship. Your brain then seeks out more of these experiences because they feel good. Gratitude is cyclical in nature, reflected in repeated experiences in our reality and our biochemistry.
Practice being specifically grateful by articulating the exact thing, person, action or experience. It makes the expression of gratitude feel more authentic, for it reveals that you’re genuinely paying attention and not just going through the motions.
Lastly, think and thank outside the box. Gratitude is a critical cognitive process because it helps shift our perspective about the world and turn disaster into a stepping-stone. If we’re willing, we can find a reason to be grateful no matter what appears to be going on, and that’s when we truly master gratitude as a habit.
Consciously cultivating an attitude of gratitude builds up a sort of psychological immune system that can cushion us when we fall. The process of remembering how difficult life used to be and how far we have come sets up a mental contrast that is fertile ground for gratefulness and improved coping mechanisms. We can reframe past hurts, betrayals, and grief with gratitude, in a sense redeeming ourselves. Gratitude is a powerful, transformative energy that we feel when we practice it. We can feel it doing us good!
If you’d like to know more about how to master your mindset and emotions, and elevate your energetic resonance, book in for a free 30 minute strategy session with Diane at https://mastermindset.com.au/master-mindset-coaching/
Diane Demetre is a Leadership & Mindset Speaker, Master Mindset Coach & Mentor, and multi-published Author with a 40+ year career spanning education, entertainment and entrepreneurship. Awarded an International Women’s Day Leadership Award, Diane is a powerhouse of educated insight, practical experience, and dynamic leadership. You can find out more about her keynote speaking at www.diandemetre.com and her other services at www.mastermindset.com.au