Having gratitude helps shift your mindset from the negative to the positive aspects of life. It’s easy to overlook everything you have to feel thankful for about daily life. Most people tend to focus more on their stresses than expressing thankfulness, and that’s understandable. Life can seem demanding and overwhelming and can easily spiral you downward.
However, gratitude is the antidote to many problems because it allows us to see the bigger picture. We came to Earth to learn difficult lessons to help our souls evolve. When you look at things from this perspective, you start feeling grateful for the rare opportunity to grow. The universe will never give you anything you can’t handle.
Still, the pressures in life can seem daunting to even the toughest souls sometimes. We all need a breather from our daily duties and demands, and gratitude gives us this space to increase our awareness. Feeling grateful takes the edge off and reminds you that you can still find a glimmer of light even in the darkest times.
So, how can gratitude help you feel happier? We’ll discuss some of the ways thankfulness can improve your outlook below.
5 Ways Gratitude Helps You Unlock Happiness
1. Thankfulness shifts your focus to what you have rather than lack.
It’s easy to feel hopeless and lost when you focus too much on what you don’t have. Or, perhaps, you’re caught up in the comparison game and feel inferior to your peers. The solution to this problem lies in how you see the world around you. You will never find peace or happiness with a fearful, negative mindset. However, seeing the world through rose-colored glasses and counting blessings will improve your outlook.
If you want to experience abundance and everlasting happiness, try writing in a gratitude journal. Studies show that people who practice gratitude writing experience improved mental health after just four weeks.
2. Expressing gratitude can improve your relationships.
Whether in romantic or platonic relationships, gratitude can help you see others in a more positive light. It can also make you feel more comfortable sharing concerns about your relationship if you focus on a person’s favorable qualities. In fact, studies suggest that expressing thankfulness to your partner releases oxytocin, the love hormone. This hormone helps you bond with loved ones and increases intimacy.
Basically, it all comes down to seeing the good in people rather than their darker traits. We all have darkness and light within us; it’s up to us which side to express in our personal lives. However, seeing the beauty and love in the world helps magnify those qualities within ourselves.
3. It can help lower stress and cortisol levels.
Placing too much attention on gloom and doom can easily make you stressed and anxious. The brain doesn’t know the difference between real and perceived threats so it will respond accordingly. For example, if you focus incessantly on problems like pollution and global warming, it triggers your fight-or-flight response automatically. However, thinking more about people doing positive things to help others and the planet creates peace. Studies find that self-regulation techniques can increase positive emotions such as gratitude and warmheartedness. They also help reduce guilt, hostility, stress, and anxiety.
So, if you’ve been feeling burnt out or overwhelmed lately, try practicing mindfulness and other self-regulation methods. It can help you shift your thinking toward uplifting, encouraging aspects of life rather than depressing ones.
Remember, everything in this universe acts as a mirror, so you will always see yourself reflected outwardly. If you want to change how you view things, start by polishing the mirror within. Mental clarity comes from meditation, living simply, and treating others as you want.
4. Gratitude helps increase resilience.
Feeling grateful for what you have can unlock the key to happiness because it gives you a thicker skin. Giving more attention to your blessings makes you more resilient toward stressors in your life. It also takes some of the power away from suffering and negativity since you’re less focused on what brings you down.
Studies show that feeling grateful even after trying times can help reduce depressive symptoms. So, count your blessings if you’d like to experience more bliss. You’ll start feeling more capable of tackling problems since gratitude renews the strength of the soul.
5. Thankfulness helps you remain in the present moment.
When you’re grateful for something, you don’t focus on anything but the here and now. Ruminating about the past or future only takes away from the joy of the present moment. However, surrendering fully to what’s happening helps you feel empowered and blissful. Gratitude helps increase these feelings since you can see the beauty in even the smallest moments.
For instance, dinners with loved ones will seem more enjoyable if you say a quick ‘thanks’ for having a warm meal and family to share it with. Even your work will start to seem less stressful if you focus on the positive aspects of it. For example, a steady paycheck supporting your family can turn work into a blessing rather than a tedious chore. In short, gratitude helps slow your brain down and increases opportunities to experience love, even in the mundane parts of life.
Final Thoughts on How Gratitude Makes You Happier
You might think expressing thankfulness seems corny or cheesy, but it can improve your overall well-being. Gratitude isn’t just for religious or spiritual people â€” anyone can experience more positive feelings by shifting their awareness. Remember that anything you focus on will magnify inside your mind and affect your outlook. So, changing how you see the world is the only way to feel more bliss and joy. A regular gratitude practice will help you feel freer and remove the heaviness from your soul.