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The Stress-Relieving Advantages of Practicing Gratitude


Have you ever noticed how certain people appear to be able to keep a generally cheerful mood no matter what is going on around them? They, like everyone else, enjoy the good times, but they also appear to be able to focus on the positive in the face of some very bad circumstances. They recognize the good in tough people, the opportunity in a difficult situation, and they appreciate what they have, even when it is lost.

Fortunately, with a little work, a happy attitude may be developed. Although we are born with some temperamental dispositions, the brain is a muscle, and by working on it, you can enhance your mind's natural tendency toward optimism. Fortunately, working on developing your "gratitude muscle" may be fun in and of itself. However, the benefits you receive would make the effort worthwhile even if it was a tedious and tough activity.

Cultivating thankfulness is one of the simplest ways to improve one's emotional well-being, general life satisfaction, and pleasure in life. People who are more grateful have stronger relationships because they value their loved ones more, and their loved ones, sensing that appreciation, do more to earn it. And because those who are happy, sleep better, and have healthy relationships are healthier, appreciative people are healthier.

Thankfully, appreciation may be developed in a variety of ways:

Gently Remind Yourself 

When you feel yourself complaining about a negative occurrence or stressor in your life, attempt to recall 4 or 5 related things for which you are glad. For example, if you're worried at work, try to recall some aspects of your job that you enjoy. You may do the same for relationship stress, financial stress, and other daily annoyances.

Use Caution When Making Comparisons

Many people add unnecessary stress to their lives by making comparisons. More precisely, they stress themselves out by making incorrect comparisons. They only compare themselves to people who have more, do more, or are closer to their ideals, allowing themselves to feel inferior rather than inspired. If you find yourself making such comparisons, you have two choices in growing thankfulness: you can choose to compare yourself to those who have less than you (which reminds you how truly rich and blessed you are), or you can feel gratitude for having people in your life who can inspire you.  Either path can lead to feelings of thankfulness rather than stress and envy.

Maintain a Gratitude Journal

Keeping a gratitude book is one of the most effective ways to promote gratitude. You not only combine the benefits of journaling with the active adoption of a more positive mindset, but you also have a good archive of joyful memories and a long list of things in your life for which you are grateful. (This is great to read when you're having trouble remembering what these items are.)

In two or three weeks, you will have to consciously focus on retaining thankfulness less and less as time goes on, and the habit of a more cheerful (and less stressful) attitude will become more automatic. And you can achieve greater sense of emotional well-being.