This is a topic that I love and have really gotten passionate about. And honestly, I think that’s because I’ve seen its positive effects so greatly in my life. Mainly in the last couple of years. These effects started happening when I started putting real effort into practicing daily gratitude- not just saying “Thank you” to people, or walking around with a grateful heart. Which I think many of us always try to do those things. But there is something SIGNIFICANTLY different about intentionally practicing gratitude every day, and taking the time to notice and appreciate specific people, moments, experiences, and blessings.
Gratitude truly can be a lifestyle. And ya know that shift in your brain I’ve mentioned before? The shift that so many of us want and need at some point in our life. That shift that takes us from feeling mentally/emotionally bogged down to feeling more liberated and in control of our well-being? Well… practicing gratitude is a VERY powerful way to help create that shift.
Scientific studies have shown that practicing gratitude can actually increase mental strength, improve self-esteem, enhance your empathy, improve sleep and even improve physical health. Tell me that’s not amazing! And that’s just a few of them!
Ya know what else it does? When you get in the habit of focusing on the things you are grateful for every day, you will naturally start to attract MORE good things and experiences into your life!
This really proved to be true for me. Within a week of me intentionally focusing on gratitude, things started happening to me that don’t typically ever happen. Even little things- like the day I was leaving Target and a stranger walked over to me and graciously offered to put my cart away for me. (never happens!) It was quite a walk back to the cart corral too and she had no interest in using the cart herself as she was also leaving. She just saw me and felt the urge to be kind and to serve.
Another day I was getting some services done on my car, and once it was finished, the auto guy came and told me he went ahead and checked something additional that he just felt he should check… and turns out that a part in my A/C system ended up needing to be replaced. It should have been a $50 replacement, but he told me he had already gone ahead and replaced it at no charge. Again, that has never happened to me before.
Or that same week when both my kids were having terrible melt downs inside Smart n Final… and FOUR different people stopped and told me I was doing a great job as a mother and promised me it would get easier. (Typically I would have just gotten dirty looks in a situation like that 😂). And as I was checking out, a sweet man told me to go ahead of him in line even though all of his groceries were already on the belt!
These are just some of the little instances and experiences I’ve had. They’ve been constant. There are many more but I won’t keep going. But I do want to also mention all of the kind smiles from people, the cheerful “hellos, and friendly conversations I started experiencing more of. At least it seemed like they were happening more… But perhaps my brain just noticed them more because I had been focusing so much on being grateful and finding the good in the world. (Your brain does that ya know- it will look for whatever it is you’re focusing on and believing in).
Simply put… Gratitude changes you. It changes your perception, it enhances your desire to connect and live fully, it enriches your life in ways that you may not even expect. It changes the way your mind thinks. It helps you have a positive outlook in situations where most people can only see the negative. It helps you become very aware of your current blessings and very quick to recognize additional ones when they come. Gratitude is an incredibly HEALING emotion to generate within yourself. It has definitely been that for me. And there are a number of ways I like to practice gratitude. Ill do a “part 2” of this blog post and I’ll share them here by Friday! ❤️ They just might be things that you want to implement in your life!