Gratitude and Contentment and their Relationship to Your Happiness
This is where I get excited and remember why we started this challenge. We want to be happier in every moment of our lives... We are 10 days in, are you noticing anything in your life?
Gratitude And Contentment Increase Happiness
We have explored the concept of gratitude and how it relates to cultivating contentment. I think it is such an important topic that I would like to circle around to discuss it again. The ideas of gratitude, contentment and happiness are all interconnected. We all want to be happy. Striving for happiness is part of the human condition. If you knew that how grateful you are in life were to contribute to your overall happiness, wouldn't you try to bring more graciousness into your everyday existence? I know I would. In fact, since making it a habit to be grateful for the good things I possess, I have found myself to be much more satisfied, even happy, from day to day. Let me show you what I mean.
Gratitude and Contentment
An attitude of gratitude is a powerful thing. It goes back to how your brain develops patterns of connections that work to develop certain habits. When you are grateful and positive about life, this loop begins to repeat in your mind. Unfortunately, our brains are hardwired for the negative. Therefore, it takes a concerted effort to overcome natural instincts toward pessimism and complaint. Being grateful and acknowledging what you have helps to do just that and to build the contentment so many of us seek.
Happiness goes beyond contentment. It is not simply being satisfied and expands to feeling fulfilled. One who is happy with their life possesses a range of emotions that transcends the various aspects of their existence.
Sounds important and deep? You are right it is. When you are happy, you experience that state and emotion throughout your personal and professional life. You feel it even when every little thing is not perfect. It is a feeling of overall life satisfaction. Being happy has been shown to be beneficial to our overall well being. Mental and physical health are improved through attaining this state, and even your immune system gets a boost when you are happy.
A Few Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
If gratitude leads to contentment, which then can result in the overarching state of happiness, it is crucial that we begin to understand ways to cultivate gratitude. There are lots of ways you can consciously work toward being more grateful for all the good you possess. One of the most proven and successful is to write in a gratitude journal each night before going to bed. List three to five things that you are thankful for. It is best if you choose specific occurrences from your day, but it's okay to repeat some general items from day to day. Spending time with your loved ones and engaging in self-care are other good ways to bring about feelings of gratefulness. When you are with those you love, you get a rush of the feel-good hormones that help you to see how fortunate you are in life. Taking care of yourself by eating well, going for a walk, or otherwise treating yourself once in a while can boost your mood of gratitude when you begin to get complacent in life.
Being grateful boosts happiness through regular bouts of contentment. You will begin to notice this impact when you start to practice being grateful. As with other skills, embracing gratitude takes time and repetition. Soon, you will begin to feel comfortable leaning into this newfound habit.
These are a small sample of ways to develop more gratitude in your life. After you begin to be aware I imagine you can come up with many more on your own.