“Research shows that people are happier if they are grateful for the positive things in their lives, rather than worrying about what might be missing.” -Dan Buettner
Who was the last person you thanked? Do you remember how it made you feel? When was the last time you complained about someone or something; how did that feel?
When we are stressed and overwhelmed it can be easy to slip into dwelling on what might not be working as well as we’d like, and tempting to complain about people or situations that we feel are causing challenges. But when we pause and reflect on someone or something we are grateful for, that brings a shift in our emotional state and consciousness that has many benefits.
Expressing thanks can lead to feeling healthier and happier, so it’s a great thing to practice often. Adding it to your collection of daily success habits can help you be more productive as well.
I decided last year that I would include gratitude as part of my daily routine. When I have a thank you note I want to write, I do it in early in the morning. If I am not writing a note, I find other ways to express gratitude first thing in the morning. Sometimes that is as simple as silently and inwardly saying thanks to someone or expressing appreciation for something I am grateful for.
I found that when I added gratitude to my morning routine, it had a similar effect to exercising in terms of helping me feel ready to start my day relaxed and on the right foot. Physical exercise helps me get my body feeling good and ready for the day, and my mental gratitude exercise helps me get my mind feeling positive and ready to embrace the day’s work ahead. I feel more energized and present after I have done these things.
There are so many ways we can use our intention and attention to bring greater focus and productivity. Expressing gratitude is just one of them. With a little practice, you might find that exercising your gratitude muscle not only feels good, it is a great way to start your day.