Gratitude – its available for us to integrate further into our daily perspective but sometimes we need a little reminder, or a little convincing to practice it.

There are many reasons to practice gratitude, but we are only recently discovering one of the big ones – its capacity to change and strengthen brain chemistry in remarkably positive ways.

Oxytocin, the central bonding hormone, is thought to play a central role in promoting tight-knit social bonds.

This Oxford University Press study involves expressed gratitude interactions between partners in a romantic relationship and suggests gratitude is the behavioral and psychological glue that bonds people and groups closer together.

What are the benefits of gratitude for your life?

  • Gratitude outshines all other emotions. It’s not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of others.
    When you feel it, the less than ideal feelings that can crop up have a harder time taking root.

    Gratitude shines brighter.

  • It’s contagious… in a good way.
    When you feel gratitude for one thing in your life, it tends to overflow into other parts of your life, even areas that you previously thought weren’t up to par begin to look better.

  • We are wired for gratitude or ingratitude. The choice is entirely yours.

    It’s impossible to be grateful and angry at the same time. Try it out. Our bodies have two nervous systems and each person has a tendency to live more in one than the other. If you are in the sympathetic “fight or flight” system too often then you will be easily triggered and stressed out. Or if you prioritize not being so hard on yourself, and knowing when to take it easy, relax, and feel good, then you will be living more in the parasympathetic “feed and breed” system. The latter system is the system you want to be in to anchor in those feelings of relaxation which generate those moments that make you say thank you.

As you can see gratitude is bigger than just saying “thank you.”

  • Relationships

    In one study, scientists found that gratitude not only attracts positive people into your life, it actually maintains the relationships of your life so that you are open and engaged with those relationships, so that when times are tough inside the relationship you will default back to being grateful for each other.

  • Career and Revenue Goals

    One way gratitude can help you further your goals is by shifting your perspective to realize how far you’ve already come. Focusing too much on the areas of your life in need of improvement, can cast a shadow on your successes. Give yourself credit for your progress and celebrate the “small wins.”

  • Physical health

    Along with being able to weather psychological storms more favorably, you will have a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, and may even live longer. A landmark study with breast cancer patients demonstrated that gratitude was strongly related to less cancer re-growth, less distress, and more feelings of well-being.

  • Mental health

    If you are grateful for everything that comes your way and you can say YES to the wins and YES to the challenges will have far more resiliency than the average person. If you can confidently say YES to everything that comes your way then you can never actually fail. If you resist what comes your way then you can tumble into the pitfall of self-pity. Being in an annoyed, angry, or worried state is a reaction that does nothing for you other than take your attention away from where it should be. Logically, you should be responding instead of reacting to the stimulus with creative and novel solutions. In martial arts traditions, such as Aikido, the goal is to harmonize with the energy that’s hurling towards you and use the mass of the opponent against them. You harmonize with the energies that come flying at you. Handling life’s challenges is no different in this respect.

The key point here is gratitude is a conscious state of appreciation, it’s the ability to feel content in the midst of difficulties and disappointments. It’s believing everything is working out for you perfectly, especially when it doesn’t seem like it is.

Life will keep coming at you with all sorts of stuff. That’s a guarantee. Maintaining a positive frame of mind when negativity is circling around is a superhuman skill.

Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let whats happening around you get inside and weigh you down.

Having an attitude of gratitude has no relation to economic status, location, or who is and who is not in your life.

It is a lifestyle choice and a permanent way of being. It is something anyone can acquire. It’s a choice.

While it takes discipline initially, in due time a grateful mindset becomes second nature.

Gratitude sees the possibilities, the lessons, the value and purpose behind the events in your life. You begin to peek behind the veil and see the hidden connections between the events in your life.

Here are six tips to help you become a more grateful person:

1. Keep a gratitude journal. Every day for 21 days. List eight unique things you are grateful for each day and think about that list throughout each day.

2. Make a known commitment to be more grateful. Tell your friends, colleagues, fellow mastermind members, loved ones, and social media connections about your gratitude journey. Document it. Document the gratitude journal, show yourself paying it forward by buying coffee for the person behind you and so on. The theme of gratitude in your live will accelerate and take on a life of its own within a day or two of living this way.

Being in a constant state of gratitude and “thank you’s” is not a bad way to live.

3. Change up your self-talk. Keep it positive. Here is a Level Up blogpost about eliminating negative self-talk.

4. Don’t jump to conclusions and reactions. Stay composed and say YES to the events of your life confidently. This keeps you in the power position as the victor of your life.

5. Take note of the inherent good in the people you interact with. Make certain to let them know how much you appreciate who they are and what they’ve done. Not only will this transform you but it will impact them and your relationship with them as well. A grateful heart brings out the best in others.

6. Recite daily prayers of gratitude. I say throughout the day “thank you God for keeping me safe, happy, healthy, and whole.” This serves as a reminder to live in a state of appreciation for each and every moment. In the book Think and Grow Rich this concept is known as auto-suggestion. Whether you believe in co-creation with a higher power or not your subconscious mind will take instruction from prayers and affirmations. The subconscious mind is the feeling mind. It will take instruction from the words themself, but most importantly, the concurrent feeling of gratitude while saying affirmations and prayers.

Gratitude is entirely in your realm of control. Through a conscious effort at becoming a more grateful person, you can through your thoughts, words, and deeds grow in being a more grateful person.

Living as a grateful person is a far more pleasant way to live and it will attract in more things that make you feel grateful and make you say “Wow. Thank you.”