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Finding happiness through gratitude practice

We live in a world that is driven by the need to do more, have more, be more.  If that wasn't obvious before, the growth of social media certainly made sure we are all aware of how much we are lacking.  When we function in a world of lack we slowly will feel our confidence slipping away, our self-esteem disappearing and sadness, guilt, frustration and shame creeping in. The more we compare to find motivation to grow, the harder it is.  In a world of lack, what we have, do, or are, is never enough. Our wins are either not considered or excused, as if it had no right to be counted as a win. The world becomes darker. 

What if, instead of focusing on what you lack, you focus on what you already have? The opposite of lacking is abundance, let's shine a light, purposefully, on that. How do you feel when you notice you have an abundance of comfort, friends, love, food, health, etc.? Can you feel your body relax and open up? Do you feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders? What about your heart? Does it expand in gratitude? Yes, that's what happens when we notice our abundances in life.

Gratitude is the ability to see and be thankful for the good things that come to you in life.  Studies have shown that the practice of gratitude increases happiness in all areas of life, but the benefits go way beyond the way we feel. 

  • Gratitude is proven to help with our physical health. It has been proven that gratitude helps with cardiovascular health, inflammation, pain, and sleep. Also, appreciating our health motivates us to maintain that health by getting checkups, exercising, and practicing healthy habits. 

  • It helps with mental wellbeing as it reduces stress, anxiety and helps improve our mood, leaving us feeling optimistic. It creates new connections in our brain, which means it teaches us to see the good, to choose the behavior we want and to feel better. 

  • Gratitude increases resilience and self-esteem, making us embrace challenges as lessons thus creating more opportunities for success.  When you change your outlook from what you are striving to reach to how far you have come, it motivates you to keep going.

  • It also strengthens relationships, creating deeper connections, more understanding, increasing acceptance and respect. It can help create new social relationships.

As you can see, cultivating gratitude has many benefits in your life and in the life of those around you. It's never too late to start. You might turn the pursuit of happiness into finding happiness. 

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