Friday, February 26, 2021
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On the benefits of practicing gratitude

When were you really grateful the last time and how did that make you feel? How actively practicing gratitude can enrich your life in many ways – this is what this post is about.

Did you think “woah, the sun is shining beautifully today, I’m so thankful that I am able to see that!” when you got up in the morning and took a peek out of the window?

Well, to be honest, you maybe should have – because practicing gratitude is a real gamechanger.

How is that?

By being (or becoming) mindful and appreciative of all the small things in your life which are positive, you overall start to see more positive things and also start to think more positively, which in turn improves your life so much.

An example:

On your way to work in the morning, right before heading down the stairs to the metro, you step on a wet sheet of newspaper someone tossed away mindlessly and nearly fall down the stairwell head first. You can either curse out the stupid person dropping the newspaper and nearly wiping you out and then be angry until lunch about careless idiots and how their doing impairs society or you can see it the other way round, count your blessings that you didn’t fall and break your legs and just go on with your day in a positive and uplifted mood because of the averted injury and its implications.

How you process this event in your mind and how the emotions that result from this processing uplift or impair the rest of your day is entirely up to you. You can decide to give all the little downsides, petty problems or annoying things in life a lot of room – or you don’t. If you decide to be grateful for the little things, start to see all the good things happening to you (a lot of them you didn’t notice before, I ensure you) and allow these to enhance your daily life, you will be much more resistant to stress, able to better cope with disappointment, react to negative people in your life with a much more level-headed approach and overall live a better life.

Here is a video that will inspire and uplift you and help you get in a good mood every day:

Why and how gratitude works

Being grateful for things triggers your brain to trigger a reward. Imagine that: you are a kid again and get your Christmas presents, which you are really grateful for – how do you feel? Happy, right? Well this the case because your brain basically says “ok, when we are grateful, we should be happy” and voil獺, once you learn to be more grateful in your life – even for very small, trivial-looking things, you get more happiness!

Watch and listen to this talk by David Steindl-Rast, a benedictine monk, speaker, teacher and fellow Austrian who gives a really good insight into the topic:

In one of the next posts (which I will then link here), I’ll provide you with a few tools (like gratitude journal ideas, special apps for that etc.) that help you to make your practice of gratitude an integral part of your life and hopefully aid you in enriching it!

Further reading:

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I am an avid self improver, habit breaker and always trying to better myself.

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