If you want to jump out of bed in the morning shouting ‘I love my life’ at the top of your voice (and mean it) – the time and place to start is here and now.
It’s brilliant to have a vision of how you want life to look – and goals to get you there.
It’s great to use tools like affirmations and visualization to put you in the right frame of mind to achieve those goals.
But it’s not just about looking forward to happiness in some future time.
It’s about where you are now, being happy with who you are and what you have now.
And this is where gratitude is the best attitude kicks in.
Gratitude and appreciation give you a simple yet amazing mind management tool with the power to change how you feel right now and carry you forward towards your goals.
‘I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.’ Brene Brown
Gratitude is one of the universal themes from our shared experience of what it means to be human.
It crosses cultures, gender and age, and features in the world’s great religious traditions.
Every language in the world has a way of saying ‘thank you’.
But despite the fact it’s easy to say, and we throw out cursory ‘thank you’s everyday, it’s not so easy to feel and experience.
To make gratitude a deliberate part of our daily lives takes practice.
So is it worth it?
Writing down 5 things they were grateful for once a week for ten weeks, had a measurable positive impact on the happiness and health levels of a group studied by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough of the University of California.
And if when it comes to managing your mind, gratitude is the best attitude to focus you on the good things in your life and train your mind to look for more of the same.
Gratitude and appreciation act as a bridge from the here and now to where you want to be. They put you in a good place by realising and feeling great about all the marvellous things in your present life.
This doesn’t mean you don’t want to make changes but that you’ll be in a better place from which to start making those changes whilst experiencing present life to the full.
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ~ Voltaire
Episode 34 of the Changeability Podcast
We talk about all this and more in episode 34 of the Changeability Podcast – where we ask if gratitude is the best attitude.
Links and resources
- Emmons, R. A. (2007). THANKS! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Emmons, R. A. (2008) – Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier
- Episode 33 – The Time of Your Life
- Appreciate to Accumulate – a guided gratitude MP3 to kick-start the appreciation habit