Updated February 11, 2019
I realized the power of gratitude after the birth of my preemie. Every single day, I am grateful for my daughter’s smile, giggles, tantrums, runny nose, and dirty diaper changes because it’s a reminder that she is alive and thriving! Thankfulness adds meaning to life (even in difficult times) and it shows us the wonder in discovering life’s hidden treasures; the blessings we may have missed if we hadn’t been paying attention. Lastly, gratitude is a vital aspect of consciously enhancing productivity and attracting to yourself the abundance and happiness that we all desire, aspire toward and without exception deserve to experience in life.
Here are 4 reasons gratitude increases your abundance:
#1 Gratitude is the foundation for the Law of Attraction.
The universal law of attraction says that you will attract the things you think about and focus on. When you are consciously aware of your blessings, and are grateful for them, you are focusing more clearly on what you do want in your life – and are attracting more of those things into your life.
#2 Gratitude improves relationships.
What if you could create an environment where you are grateful for many aspects of your life? Sometimes, it’s simply thanking someone for doing something that you have always taken for granted. If your spouse does your laundry and you haven’t thanked him or her lately, do so. Try being grateful for people who are in your life each and every day. It may take them by surprise when you thank them for their contributions, their talents and their actions, but you’ll find they will appreciate your gratitude.
#3 Gratitude reduces negativity.
When you acknowledge the good in your life, your gratitude promotes a positive mindset. “Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life” (Robert A. Emmons & Michael E. McCullough).
#4 Gratitude improves learning & problem-solving.
Being thankful opens your mind to possibilities. An open mind fosters “out of the box” thinking—a way to look at a problem from a new angle or a new perspective and come up with a new (and hopefully better) solution for it.
Gratitude as a Habit
If you make it a habit to be grateful, you train your mind to think in this mode. You will be less likely to think negative thoughts over time. Your neural pathways will be overwhelmingly positive. You slowly become a positive person simply because you were grateful for all that you have and everyone you know.
At the beginning of the process, it’s easy to slip back into that negative feedback loop. This negativity is all around us. You can’t completely avoid people who are negative. You can try to turn them around to being grateful, but you need to start with yourself. You’ll make little progress if you are constantly negative.
Try to develop a filter within yourself that keeps you from reacting when people say something negative. The easy way out is to join in the fray. You will hear it, but the filter will deflect what has been said. This requires you to let things go. When you condition yourself to be grateful constantly, this becomes the needed filter to keep negativity at bay. But, it can be fleeting without constant practice and reinforcement.
A Common Gratitude Exercise
One of the easiest and most effective ways to practice gratitude each day is to write in a journal. The act of putting pen to paper can be therapeutic in itself, almost as if you are creating your intentions as you form the letters on the page. Some people prefer to type their journal into their computer, and that’s fine also. The important thing is to consistently take time each day to journal an expression of gratitude.
Call to Action: You can simply write a list of five things you are grateful for each morning as a way to center your mind on positivity as your day begins or you may decide to write longer entries. By making this morning writing a habit, you will instill a routine of gratitude that brings positive thinking to the forefront of every day. It’s difficult to slip into negative thought patterns when you’re reminded daily of all the good things you’re fortunate enough to possess, including good health, shelter, loving family, good friends and food to nourish you.