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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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5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

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5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

Focusing on your sense of “self” is very important in so many different ways. When you think about it, you are probably surrounded by the word “self” each day more than you realize. From self-care, self-esteem and self-belief to self-confidence, self-respect and self-worth, people are constantly trying to find ways to better themselves in different areas of their lives.

If you ask most people if they know their self-worth, they will probably be quick to say yes. But, if you took that question further and asked them how they know it, you will likely be met with some hesitation. The reality is, most people think they know about self-worth, but do not fully understand what it is or how it differs from other areas of “self”.

So, how can you truly know your self-worth? What can you do to increase it? What are your strengths, gifts and abilities? Let’s take a look at a few ways to have a better understanding of what really is your self-worth.

1. Don’t Judge Your Own Emotions

You can boost your sense of self-worth by accepting your thoughts and feelings. You might not always like them, and you might find yourself at odds with them from time to time. But, whatever thoughts and emotions come into your head, let them in. Then, you can work through them effectively. Emotions demand to be felt. It is how you respond to them that matters. Don’t ignore them and limit your true value. Embrace the wonderful unique person who you are.

 

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.Robert Tew

 

2. Question Your “Shoulds”

When you think about the things you “should” do, it might leave you feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed. For example, if you say to yourself, “I should go for a run this evening,” and then you don’t end up doing it, how do you think you will feel? Chances are, you will struggle with some level of guilt. This can snowball into not feeling good about yourself and questioning how much that you value yourself and your self-worth.

Instead, fill your life with things that you “will” do. The word “will” implies that it is more of a promise and a commitment, rather than a burden. Saying “I will run a mile this evening” is much more motivating and allows you to prove exactly who you are and what you can do.

 

Anything is possible when you have a path, a plan, and a desire to take action. Dean Graziosi

 

3. Don’t Worry About the Acceptance of Others

It seems all too natural to worry about what other people think of us. Social media can make things even worse. If you find yourself constantly “looking for likes” or some kind of validation from friends, family, or even strangers, you are looking at your self-worth in the wrong place by looking through someone else’s lens and standards.

It can be hard to give up this habit. Everyone wants to be accepted. But, you won’t find what you are worth in the opinions of others. You have the power to see yourself for how great you really are. When you are able to internalize this power and recognize your true value and self-worth, you won’t put so much emphasis on what others think of you. You will get to know who you are, what you are really worth, and you can be confident in that.

4. Let Yourself Off The Hook

Many times, people cannot see their true self-worth because they are holding on to past guilt. Almost everyone has regrets. Whether you did something when you were young that you should not have, or perhaps you wronged someone in some way, the past is the past.

You need to learn to forgive yourself and let yourself off the hook. By holding onto that guilt, you will never be able to see what you are really worth. It will feel like a ball and chain holding you back. But, you have the key to break free, if you just give yourself the chance. If you would be willing to show someone else forgiveness and acceptance for their wrongdoings, you owe it to yourself to do the same. Give yourself a break.

5. Look at Your Gifts

If you are still having a hard time understanding your self-worth, take a look at your natural skills. Everyone has certain gifts in life. Your talents are going to be different from someone else’s – that’s what makes the world work!

Think about a few things that you are really good at. Or, something that you really enjoy doing. Go even further by creating a list of your talents and skills. They don’t need to be huge. In fact, writing a list of several “little things” can make you see just how important and valuable that you are. Take a look at that list whenever you are feeling down or devalued, and practice those talents and skills as often as possible.

By keeping these skills and talents of yours in mind, you can start to celebrate your self-worth. When you have a better understanding of your real value, you are more likely to prioritize other things like self-care, self-esteem and self belief. Each of which are different, but they are all connected in some way. But, it starts with knowing your self-worth. And, chances are, it is much more than you might think.

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6 Signs Of A Strong Friendship

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6 Signs Of A Strong Friendship

There is nothing quite like a strong friendship. Having someone that you can truly count on for anything and everything can completely change the way you think and feel. Unfortunately, far too often in today’s society, we seem to focus more on how many friends we have.

Or, worse, how many acquaintances we can keep in touch with via social media. But, having a true, strong friendship is something that cannot be replaced or replicated with lukewarm substitutes.

Are you already thinking about someone in your life who fits that description? Or, are you wondering if you truly have a strong friendship with one (or more) of the people who are closest to you?

While every friendly relationship is different and unique, there are some common factors associated with a strong bond and true friendship. Let’s take a look at a few of them so you can feel even more confident in your close friendships, and grow even deeper with the people in your life who truly matter.

1. Communication is Always a Priority

It is easy to talk to your friends when everything in your life is on track. Sharing laughs, light conversation, and exchanging stories are all important parts of a healthy friendship.

But, a strong friendship goes deeper. It allows you to communicate with that person, no matter what.  That includes telling them about your struggles or anything you might be going through. It also includes communicating effectively when you are not getting along.

Through proper communication, especially when things are hard, you will build trust within that relationship. Going through difficult things together will make you stronger individuals, and stronger friends.

2. You Know You Are Equals

Almost everyone has known at least one person in their lives who seems to think they’re “better” than everyone else.

Strong friendships need to be based on equality. You and your friend should always be on the same playing field when it comes to who you are and how you are living your life. If you embrace your differences and do not see one as superior, you can take comfort in knowing your friendship is sincere.

3. Respect

Even the best of friends clash from time to time. You might have similar personalities, but no two people are exactly alike.

But, if you can still show your friend respect (and receive it from them) even in times of turmoil, your friendship will be stronger than any disagreement you might have. When someone chooses to respect you even when they are upset with you, it shows that they value your relationship more than their pride.

4. You Can Be Yourself

Do you ever feel like you have to put on a show for other people? Or, are you afraid to let your true personality shine through when you are in certain crowds?

A strong friendship is one that allows you to be yourself. If there is someone in your life who truly likes you for who you are, hold onto that friendship tightly! Most people spend far too much time pretending, whether it’s online or in-person. Someone who loves your quirks and uniqueness is someone who loves you, as a person.

Honesty is also a huge part of being yourself, and a huge part of a strong friendship. Friendships should be based on trust, and that starts with being honest. Telling the truth about how you feel and what you think is important. If your friend actively listens, appreciates, and comments on that truth, you can take comfort in knowing how secure your relationship is.

5. You Experience Joy

While a true friend should be there for you during hard times, the bulk of your relationship should be joyful and fun! Again, think about that person in your life who makes you smile. Is there someone who you are always happy to be around? Does thinking about your friendship cause your heart to race?

Strong friendships should absolutely be joyful. You should find yourself laughing a lot, and being completely at ease with one another. That person may be the first one you think of when you want to experience something new or go somewhere different, just because you know that you will have more fun with them around.

6. You Respect Boundaries

No matter how great your friendship is, no two people can be together 24/7. A great friend will understand that and respect your boundaries. Alternatively, they might be going through something that they are not ready to talk about. If you can respect those boundaries, it shows them how much faith you have in your friendship.

Many people are too quick to think the term “boundaries” as being negative. But, boundaries are completely healthy and necessary in a strong relationship of any kind. Having someone in your life who respects those boundaries understands what it takes to build upon that strength. 

Having a strong friendship – even just one – can add so much to your life. Take a look at your current friendships. Is there one that stands out to you with these characteristics? If so, do what you can to continue to build and grow that strength, and make sure that friend knows how important they are to you on a regular basis.

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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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