Many people approach life with the mindset of the quintessential glass half-empty person. They will gravitate toward negative thoughts that lower their moods. It is time to break this habit and develop an attitude of gratitude.
Change the way you think and break the cycle. Learn to be aware of what is good in your life and become grateful for those things. By focusing on the positive, you are increasing the happiness in your life. The following are five practice you can adopt to practice gratitude:
1. Set the tone each morning. Every morning before you start your day, remind yourself of everything you are grateful for. Ask yourself: What is good in my life? What do I have to be thankful for? Who do I love who also loves me? What are the opportunities I have this day for enjoyment, pleasure, fun? What are the possibilities that exist to do something good or helpful? By identifying and focusing on this to start the day, you can set the happiness tone for the day.
2. Be alert to the good. There is a secret to happiness: First, live each day exactly as it unfolds; then, second, to go back in time and relive the day, but this time pay attention to the beautiful little things that you ignored the first time around.
3. Embrace good fortune. Albert Einstein used to say, “There are two ways to live your life. One is though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” When good fortune comes your way, you can be beyond merely accepting it to celebrating it and embracing it. This way you not only enjoy your good fortune, but you both enhance it and enjoy your enjoyment of it.
4. Revel in the miniature. We tend to focus on the bigger things in life such as physical health and vitality; a loving, lasting relationship; the warmth of a close-knit family; a vibrant, engaging career; financial security. It is also important to be grateful for the little things such as a child’s laughter or the warmth of blankets. These moments are available throughout each day. All it takes is for us to be alert to them and savor them as they present themselves.
You may not have control over all the circumstances in your life, but you can control what is the focus of your attention. By building a habit that allows you to recognize the good things you increase the amount of pleasure you experience, your mood, and ultimately your happiness.