How to Increase Motivation & Happiness with an Attitude of Gratitude

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What is gratitude? 

The dictionary defines gratitude as "a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation." The word is derived from the Latin word gratia, which, depending on the context, means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness.

Gratitude is an emotion you experience combined with happiness and joy when you are thankful to have the people, places and objects you have in your life.

Being grateful for what we have can also be seen as an acknowledgment of the existence of good in the world and our own lives. It's also a form of acceptance for all the positive things that come our way. They didn't just magically appear on their own, after all.

The feeling of gratitude can help to acknowledge the presence of a higher power or the Universe.

Gratitude can help us to pay it forward. That is, if someone does something nice for you, you should repay them with kindness towards others. The feeling of gratitude can really take hold and bring about a cycle of good deeds that will make the world a better place.

The importance of Gratitude

Various studies have shown that being thankful can lead to a host of positive reactions. It can provide a boost to our psychological, physical and social wellbeing. This is why it's so important to nurture it in order to ensure you maintain that happy, positive, upbeat and motivated state of mind. 

Physiological benefits

  • The ability to feel more happiness and overall optimism

  • A greater capacity to experience feelings of pleasure and joy

  • A feeling of happiness swelling in the heart with positive emotions

  • Feelings of attentiveness to the world around you and the things and people you love.

Studies have shown that gratitude not only improves your mental health, but it can actually play a role in your physical health! Time and time again, those with a positive and grateful mental attitude shared that they experienced the following physical benefits.

Physical benefits

  • Improved immune system

  • Fewer ailments such as aches and pains

  • Improved sleep and feelings of waking up refreshed

  • Lesser instances of falling sick

  • Speedier recovery when they do fall ill

Continued studies of subjects who are filled with gratitude, also show improvements in their social lives.

Social benefits

  • They tend to be more friendly and more sociable with others

  • They tend to forgive faster

  • They show kindness often

  • Those who are filled with gratitude are often more generous and compassionate

  • They less frequently experience feelings of isolation and aloneness.

Why is it important to practice gratitude?

Besides all the benefits it brings to our lives, gratitude is one of the easiest ways to live happily. It can fill you with pure joy. It gives you a happy high with no side effects

Research has shown that our mental health has a direct influence on our physical wellbeing. This means that focusing on things to be grateful for can help people enjoy better health.

Another benefit of gratitude is the improvement of relationships. It helps not only the person who is feeling thankful but also serves as a type of relationship building exercise because it's an acknowledgement of the contributions that other people have made to one's life

Some more reasons to be grateful:

  • It can help to block negative emotions

  • Decreased stress levels

  • Improved feelings of self-worth

  • Gratitude helps you to stay present in the moment

How do you show gratitude?

Even though gratitude is a straightforward emotion to practice, it can also be easy to forget. When someone does us a favor or we receive good luck, it's easy to get carried away by the moment and forget to show our gratitude. Many people have a hard time acknowledging the forces of nature that have had a positive impact on them. Often we simply feel content with our lives or else are more distracted and focused on the negative things to remember to celebrate what we are happy about.

Luckily you can create a systematic approach for practicing gratitude.

Here are some suggestions to remind us to feel grateful.

1. Keep a gratitude journal

We often get so caught up in life that we forget to count the blessings we receive every day. However, no matter how small or big they are, these are still blessings and can make a world of difference if we remember them when we need them most.

Maintaining a gratitude journal can be helpful. It is a dedicated book for you to record all the blessings received every day. You may set aside some time in the morning or at night for making entries in it.

The simple act of writing a gratitude journal can improve your emotional well-being. The benefits are tied to the moments you feel the most down. When you're feeling down about yourself, take a moment to read all of the great things that have happened in your life. It's an instant mood enhancer!

2. Make a gratitude jar

A gratitude jar is like a journal for your blessings. Put notes in there that you've received to remind yourself of all the good things you have. When you're feeling down, pick one note out of the jar and read it...it’s a fun and inspiring activity that can keep you focused on the positive things in your life!

3. Write Letters or Messages to those you are grateful for

The more significant the favor, the more likely you are able to spark a positive, reciprocal cycle. When you take a few minutes to write a thank-you note, it makes them feel good and they might want to pay it forward which starts off a positive feedback loop. Writing a letter is a quick and simple task, but it can make a big impact on someone else’s day - and put a smile on their face for weeks to come!

You can also send a gratitude letter to God, or to the Universe. This letter will express your thanks for all the things you've been given.

4. Repeat Gratitude Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements that can help stoke your feelings of gratitude and have a big impact on your mood. They're especially good as a reminder of the blessings you have.

Depending on your goal, you can use abundance affirmations or even create some on your own. It's best to remember these points when choosing daily affirmations: they should be concise, meaningful, resonate with yourself and your goals.

How can gratitude affirmations help?

There are a number of Law of Attraction success stories around the world, because everyone has the power to create what they want in life. The 'Law' just means that we have to believe in ourselves and be thankful for what we have. These ideas fall into affirmations and gratitude, which can help you get things you want out of life!

People emphasize how important it is to have a positive outlook on life and affirmations provide a good way to find that optimistic frame of mind.

Your thoughts and feelings are the building blocks of your mind. By using them wisely, you can improve your mental well-being and consequently your physical and overall well-being. 

If you're feeling down or anxious, one simple method to take control is through daily affirmations. By repeating them, you can improve your mindset and channel it towards positivity instead. When your heart is filled with gratitude and love,

Some of the benefits of gratitude affirmations are:

  • They help you remember the different things you are grateful for and why

  • It helps mentally reprogram your mind to look for the positive rather than the negative

  • Increases feelings of happiness, contentment, and peace

  • Helps you stay grounded

  • Helps to ward off feelings of negativity

It's been shown that feeling gratitude can increase someone's happiness or decrease their stress levels, which in turn may lead to more happiness on the Emotional Guidance Scale. In doing so, you increase your capability to attract greatness and feel more confident about yourself.

How to practice gratitude with affirmations?

Affirmations are a great way to practice gratitude in your daily routine. It's easy to implement and can be done at any given time. Affirmations are most effective when repeated early in the morning after you wake up or just before bedtime.

Your mind is the most receptive in the morning. Repeating affirmations will have a better impact if you start your day off in this way.

There are a lot of different ways of practicing affirmations at home, such as written down on paper, said aloud or repeated silently. You might also listen to a recording or watch videos online.

Create a Vision Board:

Another way to include affirmations in your daily routine is to make them part of a Vision Board. This is why a blank vision board is included every month in your Monthly Compass Book. A blank vision board is provided along with your monthly planner, fun activities, quotes, journal prompts and affirmations. Here, you can write, draw, or cut and paste things that reaffirm your dedication to being grateful and for nurturing happy and positive energy.