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How Practicing Gratitude Can Change Your Life

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How Practicing Gratitude Can Change Your Life

The practice of showing gratitude is more scientific than most people give it credit for. There have been proven results when it comes to how the action of gratitude can affect the way you think and feel. But, as the title of this article suggests, gratitude is a practice. It is something that needs to be worked on and acknowledged on a regular basis.

The grateful mindset comes more naturally to some people more than others. If it isn’t something that is strongly ingrained in you, don’t worry! That just means you have to take more time and put more conscious effort into practicing gratitude more often. If you are willing to do that, you just might be amazed at how many ways you life can change for the better. Let’s take a look at some of the positive changes you can expect from this wonderful daily practice.

You Will Build Stronger Relationships

Whether you have been friends with someone for ten years or ten minutes, the practice of gratitude can strengthen any relationship. Something as simple as a ‘thank you’ or action of thanks can add onto any relational foundation. It shows people your genuine emotion, and makes them more attracted to you as a person. In short, people will tend to like you more if you show honest gratitude, even for the smallest things.

Your Health Will Improve

It might be hard to believe that you will see physical improvements from something like showing gratitude, but there are a lot of ways this practice can boost your overall physical health. Feeling genuine appreciation can do things like lower your blood pressure and reduce your stress levels.

It can also help with aches and pains in your body, headaches, and can improve your heart health. You might also notice that you have more energy when you are genuinely grateful and appreciative. This affects your body, but it can also have an impact on your mental state and help you to get more done throughout each day.

You Will Manage Stress Better

Having a strong appreciation for things will make it easier for you to manage the stresses in your daily life. This includes minor things that happen all of the time, but it also can help with big things that might otherwise seem overwhelming. Being grateful will help you to deal with the hardships life can sometimes throw at you, because you will focus on the positive things and what you should be thankful for, instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of the situation you are in.

This skill can make you a pillar for others who might be struggling with stress or other hardship. People may come to you for support. You can use that as an opportunity to spread even more gratitude. Your positive attitude may rub off on others, so they can keep the trend going, too!

 

How Practicing Gratitude Can Change Your Life

You Will Have More Confidence

Developing an attitude of gratitude can make you feel better about yourself and boost your self-esteem. This is mostly because you will stop comparing yourself to others. It is hard to be jealous of what someone else might have, how they look, etc., when you are grateful for what you have and how you look, as well as your accomplishments. Instead of being envious of the lives of others, you will be more appreciative of your own, which can help with your self-image.

You Are Less Likely to Face Depression

Studies have shown that people who are more grateful and appreciative are less likely to deal with depression or anxiety. This is because gratitude doesn’t leave room for so many toxic emotions in your life. If you are appreciative of the things in your life, it is harder to feel things like resentment, envy, or even anger. These emotions can still show up from time to time, but when your attitude and heart are truly grateful, those negative emotions don’t stick around for long.

You Will Feel Happier

Finally, you will tend to feel better overall when you practice an attitude of gratitude in your day-to-day life. There have been studies done on this very subject, and the results have consistently shown that people who are more appreciative of things are generally happier.

It’s important to note that everyone has a ‘baseline’ when it comes to happiness. It is up to us to push the line in a positive or negative direction each day. Having appreciation in your heart and mind will consistently make it easier to feel happier, instead of dipping below that line and feeling sad or angry about things.

How Can You Practice Gratitude Each Day?

Now that you know what a more grateful attitude can do, you might be wondering how you can actually be more appreciative each day. Keep in mind that it is an ongoing practice, and one you need to be conscious of all the time. But, there are some things you can do each day to create a shift in your mindset, and gravitate more towards a grateful attitude.

One of the best things you can do to get started is to create a ‘gratitude list.’ Sit down at the start of each day, and write down three things you are grateful for. Instead of thinking about what you have to do or the things you might be stressing over, consider the positive things that make you happy. By starting out your day this way, you can change your entire attitude. I use the Five Minute Journal to remind me every day to write down what I am grateful for each day. You can start your own gratitude journal if you wish, and take note of what you are grateful for each day.

As you can see, the practice of gratitude can have a huge impact on your daily life, with many positive results. There are many more benefits to consider, and some may be very personal to you. Try adopting this wonderful attitude into your life, and you are bound to notice some positive changes occurring quickly. In the end, that just gives you one more reason to be grateful.

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

Have you ever had moments where you feel completely inadequate? Maybe a specific situation comes up and you think there is no way that you would ever be good enough to do what is needed. Or, maybe you feel that way all the time and you can’t seem to get past it.

Thinking that you are not good enough and having low self-esteem tend to go hand-in-hand, but they are slightly different.

Thankfully, you can work on both of them by changing your thinking habits and banishing some of that negative self-talk from your mindset. Whether you think you are not good enough in certain situations or you have a hard time believing that you are good enough for almost anything, it doesn’t have to be that way forever.

Let’s look at a few things you should always keep in mind when those thoughts come in, and how you can start to convince yourself of your true worth.

1. You Are Not Alone

Thinking that you are not good enough can cause a lonely existence. You might not want to put your burdens on others, so you don’t talk about it. You might also think that everyone else is perfectly happy with who they are, and are confident in everything that they do.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is, you never know what other people are fully thinking/feeling. What you can count on, though, is that there are so many others who feel just like you, and are constantly wondering if they are “enough”. Knowing that you are not alone can help you to work through your feelings without feeling so isolated.

2. You Have Your Own Skills

A common reason why people tend to think they are not good enough is because they don’t have a specific talent or skill that someone else has. But you probably have something that person doesn’t, too.

Everyone has their own abilities and things that make them unique. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, keep your mind on your talents and what makes you special.

“If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you!” – T. Harv Eker

3. You Can’t Be Perfect

Perfection is a fruitless thing to chase. Many people who question their self-worth do so because they are perfectionists.

But, if you set such a high standard for yourself, you will always be disappointed. Perfection doesn’t exist, and while you can strive to be your best, it is important to understand human error and limits. That doesn’t mean the things you do are some how “less” than great. But, striving for perfection is something that can make you feel inadequate.

4. You Are Worthy of Loving Yourself

Love tends to be the answer for so many things, including any pain or turmoil that you might be going through. Thinking that you are not good enough is an easy way to cause yourself sadness and pain. Those thoughts can quickly snowball and you might start to think about more negative things about yourself.

Instead of fueling those negative thoughts, choose love. Love is like a permanent band-aid for the pain that you are going through. It is a great way to comfort yourself, provide reassurance, and get a clearer picture of who you really are and all of the wonderful things that you can offer the world. By choosing self-love, you can start to see yourself in a more positive light, and push those negative thoughts away.

“We must fall in love with ourselves. I don’t like myself. I’m crazy about myself.” – Mae West

5. Mistakes Can Be a Good Thing

Do you ever find yourself feeling especially inadequate when you “fail”? While that is not uncommon, that word should really be removed from your vocabulary.

Everyone “fails” at times, because again, perfection is not attainable. When you start to consider anything less than perfection to be a failure, it is easy to beat yourself up and think that you will never amount to the things that you truly want.

But, when you start to view your failures and mistakes as good things and stepping stones, you can completely shift your perspective and realize that not only are you good enough, but you are also resilient and strong. Some of the biggest “failures” in history went on to be the most successful people because they learned from their mistakes. They looked at the things that went wrong and considered how they could change them.

It is important to use your mistakes as a way to learn and grow. When you are able to do that, you will find a greater sense of fulfillment when things finally come together and you get it “right”.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordon

6. Gratitude Goes a Long Way

It might not always feel easy to accept and be grateful for who you are. But, it is incredibly important. Instead of thinking about the things you don’t have or areas where you are not “good enough”, choose to actively think about and pursue the positive. Focus on what you are grateful for. The more that you do that, the easier it will be to banish those thoughts of doubt and insecurity. I like to start every day by using my journal and begin by writing down three things that I am grateful for.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie

Once you really start to think about it, you will find that you have more to be grateful for than you may have initially realized, and that way of thinking can help you to establish healthier, more positive thoughts about yourself that will last a lifetime.

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

What are existential questions?

Existential questions are usually deep, philosophical questions that question just that — our very existence.

They can be great conversation starters and they can also sometimes make for a passionate discussion. The following existential questions can be a great way to get to know someone better and perhaps even learn new things about yourself.

The word existential comes from the Latin word “existentia”, which means to exist. Existential questions challenge our way of thinking, our beliefs and our perspective.

Is there a right or wrong answer to an existential question? Perhaps not, as each question usually just asks more questions.

I have put together the following list of thought provoking existential questions so that you can perhaps start an internal conversation with yourself or start an interesting debate with your friends.

50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

 

1. Are there limits to human creativity?

2. What makes something beautiful?

3. How do we know if we’re doing the right thing?

4. Who am I?

5. What is one thing that every human should get to experience in their life?

6. Do you believe in a power greater than humanity?

7. Are we given enough time?

8. Is privacy a right?

9. What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?

10. Are we alone in the universe?

11. What is love?

12. How would you define genius?

13. What do you think your purpose is?

14. If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be innocent?

15. Is it better to expand your knowledge or to deepen it?

16. Why do you think we are here?

17. How important is ‘play’ in living a healthy and fulfilling life?

18. Do you have a right to be happy, or should you earn it?

19. What happens when I die?

20. What worries me the most about the future?

21. What is a person? Is it the mind, or the body?

22. Would the world be a better place if all leaders were women? If you answered yes, why?

23. What activity have I done that has made me feel the most alive?

24. Does truth exist without evidence?

25. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would I give?

26. Does a person have a soul? If so, where is it?

27. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

28. Is it more important to love or be loved?

29. What would make the world a better place?

30. How should we measure our lives? In years? In moments? In accomplishments? Something else?

31. What is the difference between living and simply existing?

32. If you died today, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve lived?

33. What advice would you tell your younger self?

34. Which is worse: failing or never trying?

35. Is a minimum wage a good idea? What about a maximum wage?

36. What is the most important goal every person should have?

37. Can anything ever really be considered ‘true’ or is everything subjective?

38. Is the world a better place with humans in it?

39. If extra-terrestrial life was discovered, how do you think humanity would react?

40. Is happiness just a mixture of chemicals circulating through our bodies?

41. Where do you think we go when we die?

42. Have I done anything lately worth remembering?

43. Can you ever have full control over your own life?

44. How do you know that you are not dreaming right now?

45. Is one lifetime enough?

46. What matters most in my life?

47. Is a person ever truly evil? If so, are they born that way?

48. What is the meaning of life?

49. Is humanity going in the right or wrong direction?

50. What does it mean to live a good life?

I hope that you enjoyed these thought provoking existential questions. I hope that they perhaps made you think about your beliefs, yourself and the world around you (the bigger picture). If you discuss these questions with a friend, remember, there is probably no right and wrong answers, usually just a matter of opinion.

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30 Life Lessons That I Would Tell My Younger Self

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30 Life Lessons That I Would Tell My Younger Self

I clearly remember when I was 18, then 25 and in then what seems like a flash, I have recently celebrated by 50th birthday. While some people might dread the thoughts of hitting such a milestone. (more…)

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