A recent survey indicates just 33% of Americans say they are happy in their daily lives. While there’s no magic path to happiness, thinking about it has a compilation of good fortunes can help people increase their happiness as they go through life.
Another way to increase your happiness as well as the happiness of others is by showing gratitude. Whether you write down daily the things you’re thankful for or stop to show gratitude to people in everyday life. The fact is, there are many benefits of practicing gratitude and showing gratitude and those benefits include:
- Looking for the good things in life: When you look for things to show gratitude for, chances are that one thing will lead to several more good things. If you’re thankful for your job for example, you might also show gratitude to your co-workers, for your general work environment and the customers you may work with, if you’re in customer service. The point is that if you look for gratitude in one aspect of life, you’ll often find that it snowballs to where you see many wonderful moments you may not have been previously aware of.
- Better health: If you make a practice of writing down the things you’re grateful for every day, thereby becoming a sort of gratitude author, you can do a lot to improve your health. Thinking about what’s good and right in your life will help you feel better, both physically and mentally. If you have a bad day at work or a bad experience with a customer, it might get to you briefly. But a better practice is to focus on being grateful for your job and the wonderful experience you usually have with customers rather than bad ones. Focusing on the positive things in your life will make you feel better and focused on the future rather than stewing in the past.
- Enjoying the moment: Chances are you’ve probably heard someone recently say how grateful they are for the beautiful weather or the fact that the sun is shining. Being thankful for the moment can help you enjoy what you’ve got at a particular moment, rather than thinking about everything else that might be going on in your life. Using work as an example again, if you’re working on a big project, focus on what’s going well and how you’re going to get the job done. Don’t waste time and energy focusing on what could go wrong.
- Practicing patience: When you take time to practice gratitude, even with the smallest things, chances are good that you’re going to be a more patient person. Suppose for example you’re waiting in a long line somewhere. Rather than fuming about how long the line is, consider for a moment the possible positives from that experience. Maybe you strike up a conversation with someone in line to help pass the time and maybe you make a connection. That time waiting in line can also be spent taking notice of other things or focusing your mental energy on something more important.
- Better relationships: One of the biggest benefits of practicing gratitude is that it can help improve your relationships with loved ones and friends. Believe it or not, gratitude generates social capital and those who are more grateful have been shown to have more social capital than those that don’t. It’s also been shown that 62% of people of people are grateful for their children and family. With that in mind, it’s a good reminder to show gratitude to your loved ones and friends rather than just assuming that they know you’re thankful for them.
If you’re wondering, how can I show more gratitude, the easiest answer is to look for perspective. Seek out a gratitude coach or life coach, listen to a gratitude podcast, look for a gratitude author to gain their thoughts on things. You can also be a gratitude author of your own by writing in a gratitude journal about what you’re grateful for. Being a gratitude author, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, can improve your health by helping you sleep longer and better. Whether you know it or not, showing gratitude and actively trying to practice gratitude can increase your happiness in a lot of small ways.