“A moment of gratitude makes a difference in your attitude.” – Bruce Wilkinson
Ever noticed how the days that start off bad just seem to get worse and worse?
Maybe your alarm didn’t go off and now you’re late for work. You’re rushing around trying to get ready and you stub your toe. Your car keys are nowhere to be found. When you eventually get on the road, all the lights are against you - and the traffic is worse than ever.
From the get-go, you’re setting your day up for failure if you allow the first setback to influence every action and attitude that follows.
So what to do about it? How do you turn everything around the moment something goes wrong to prevent the knock-on effect of one disaster after another?
It’s simple: Stop, breathe… and be grateful.
“For what?” you ask, “A muted alarm? A painful limp? A miserable commute?!”
It’s all about perspective. So you woke up late - you woke up! You’re alive!
You have a toe to stub.
You have a car. You have a job to get to. Literally BILLIONS of people would give anything to be in your position.
“But I was late for work (again!) - and now I AM unemployed - and had to give up my car!”
Changing the way you think will make all the difference. If you’re grateful for everything you have right now, it will make it so much more likely that you’ll ascend by degrees; the alternative is spiralling into an emotional breakdown that serves no purpose other than to ruin your life and the lives of everyone around you.
As Oprah Winfrey says, “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Here are four key benefits of being thankful:
It makes you more aware of good things
The more you consciously focus on what you have to be grateful for, the more positive things you will notice. Whether it’s the feeling of the sun on your skin or the smile of a stranger, if you’re in a cheerful frame of mind you’ll be more likely to see the best in everything rather than the worst.
It improves your mental health
Actively seeking out reasons to be thankful will make you happier - and happiness is scientifically proven to have a positive impact on your psychological well-being. It improves self esteem, productivity and career opportunities - all powerful contributing factors to how we think about ourselves and the world around us; and it reduces stress, a big influence on mental health.
It improves your physical health
We’ve all had our ‘down’ days - you’ll have noticed how you have no energy when you’re feeling depressed for any reason. Counting your blessings lifts your spirits and gives you a boost of energy, which means you’ll be more inclined to be active. Studies have shown that those with sunnier outlooks on life are more likely to exercise and to have healthier diets - which leads to more happiness... and so the cycle continues!
It elevates the mood of those around you
Expressing and demonstrating appreciation to others not only makes them feel good, it has a wonderful rebound effect on you too. It improves relationships, whether at home or at work, making life easier all round.
“The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.” – Robert Holden