“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

Do you want more from your life?

More happiness? Increased productivity? Better health? Deeper relationships?

What if I told you that just one thing can help you in all of those areas?

An Attitude of Gratitude

But what does gratitude mean?

Gratitude outshines your all other emotions. When you feel it, it often overpowers other feelings. Gratitude shines brighter.

It’s contagious. When you feel gratitude for one thing in your life, it tends to overflow into other parts of your life, even places that you previously thought weren’t good enough.

Humility accompanies gratitude. Arrogance and pride are impossible feelings to have when you experience gratitude.

Here are some benefits of gratitude:

· Gratitude makes you more resilient

Gratitude can make you a more resilient person! Having resilience is more than just getting through tough times. It’s the commitment to find purpose in whatever’s happening and a belief that something good will come out of this hardship. And, practicing gratitude gives you the ability to be grateful regardless of your current situation.

· Is gratitude beneficial for people who struggle with mental health concerns? And, if so, how?

The biggest way gratitude affects your life is by improving your mental health. Of course, the state of your mental health directly impacts everything in your life. What you think influences what you feel, and what you feel influences what you do. This entire cycle is impacted by your attitude.

Negative thoughts leave you feeling discouraged, possibly angry and hopeless. Positive thoughts make you feel hopeful, optimistic and empowered. Gratitude transforms this entire cycle by first changing your thoughts.

“I am bitter and sad” becomes “I am so happy and at peace”.

“I don’t have enough” becomes “I have so much”.

Finally, you validate your feelings with your behavior.

· Keeps you away from suicidal thoughts and attempts

Effects of gratitude on depression and suicide showed that gratitude is a protective factor when it comes to suicidal ideation in depressed individuals.

· Increase our spiritualism

If you are feeling lost spiritually, practicing gratitude can help you get out of your spiritual funk. The more spiritual you are, the more likely you are to be grateful, and vice versa.

· Improve our self-esteem.

Gratitude makes you aware of the good other people do for you. As a result, you feel loved, cared for, and appreciated which makes you feel better about yourself and improves your self-esteem.

· Build strong relationships

What makes gratitude the special sauce of relationships? " Feeling grateful toward others can motivate us to spend more time connecting to people who are important to us," Dr. Yoshimura says. " When you feel like you have someone to go to when you're in need, it can decrease the amount of stress you feel. These benefits go both ways: when you have strong relationships, you feel grateful and expressing gratitude makes your relationships better too.

· Reduce our blood pressure

Patients with hypertension who “count their blessings” at least once a week experience significant decrease in blood pressure, resulting in better overall.

Want a healthy heart? Count your blessings!

· Improves our positivity ratio

Gratitude boosts our ratio by helping us experience more positive emotions such as love, joy, optimism, enthusiasm and happiness, while protecting us from the destructive emotions of envy, bitterness and greed.

“Those who pay attention to what is good in their life instead of what is bad are more likely to feel positively about their life.”

Are there some ways to practice gratitude on regular basis? The answer is “yes”.

1. Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person's impact on your life.

2. Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thought about the gifts you've received each day.

3. Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.

4. Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for.

Once you become oriented toward looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate things that you previously took for granted. Today, start bringing gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful.

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