What are you grateful for?

“To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kindness that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.” — Albert Schweitzer

Being positive starts with being grateful in my opinion. It is actually seeing the bright side in what we have, rather than focusing on what we don’t.

But what really is gratitude? It is being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen in your life and taking the time to express appreciation and return the kindness. Being grateful is more than saying thank you. It also contains empathy and compassion.

Being grateful for everything we have be it big or small, and thinking about it every day has also a direct relationship with mental well-being, which also indirectly affects our physical health in a positive way.

It is known to be beneficial keeping a gratitude journal and writing down at least ten things that you are grateful for every day. I tried that in the past. At first it seems like a difficult task to find ten subject every day, but when you start writing every day, you realize that there are so many things that are so little but lack of which would affect your life dearly. Then you start looking at things from a different perspective and realize that you have way more than you think. There are so many people who make a difference in your life, whom you are grateful for.

Also according to research, self-reminder of gratitude on a daily basis helps with alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy, and sleep duration and quality. Additionally lowers levels of depression and stress.

People who think, talk, or write about gratitude daily are more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or offered emotional support to another person. They place less importance on material goods, are less envious of wealthy people, and are more likely to share their possessions with others by donating and volunteering more.

After hearing about all these benefits of gratitude, how about starting a gratitude journal in the New Year? As I said I did that in the past, but I will do it again as it brought me lots of happiness at the time. I would love it if you would do that too and maybe later share with me what you did, how it felt, how it helped you.

On a final note; being grateful for good things is easy, the real deal is to be grateful for the bad things that happened to you, bad people that you had to encounter. If you can be grateful even for them, because they made you learn something, then you can say you are indeed evolving.

“Being grateful does not mean that everything is necessarily good. It just means that you can accept it as a gift.” 
― Roy T. Bennett

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