Studies show gratitude makes a difference in helping people grow. There’s a field called positive psychology studying in a scientific way what makes life worth living. It’s a way of looking at strengths, building the best in people and fulfillment. Gratitude is the part I’ve chosen to focus on!

Because over many years I’ve found that practicing gratitude helps me. Including helping me in moving forward in a positive way. Morning, evening and in between, I review the good surrounding me in my life.

Gratitude does enrich your life. For example, when you are feeling grateful, you tend to review the good things that are happening for you. That helps with relaxation and tends to lift you up a bit.

Reviewing good that you’ve experienced helps you notice the best parts of your life. It helps you see positive aspects in the bad things that may happen, too. Such as the lessons you learn! Because when you’re in the habit of looking for good, you find the lessons more readily. And then the good is yours. As is more gratitude. Even when it’s mixed in with other things you may not appreciate as much!

For example, once I dropped a twenty dollar bill. It was in my pocket with my keys when I went out to coffee with friends. It disappeared. One of my friends bought the drinks for all of us, so logically that twenty should have still been in my pocket. But when I got home it wasn’t. I realized it was gone. And since I’m in the habit of looking for the good, I realized there were lessons to be learned.

For example, putting something important next to keys that normally “ride alone” in my pocket is probably not a good idea. Because I pull out my keys quickly and without thought. Something small can easily get lost in that moment! Another day it might have been an item I could not replace that got lost. I also recognized that whoever finds that money may need it more than I do.

In this way, I allowed myself to search for and find what I could be grateful for both from the lesson learned and from good that can come from my loss. In that simple way, gratitude helped me feel better about losing the money. Plus, my habit of gratitude gave me a lesson that may save me from a more important loss in the future. Keep me from being careless in similar situations!

Looking for and finding good works for the big things in life, too. Not just for small mishaps. That’s simply because when you get in the habit of looking for the good in things, you get in the habit of finding them. It teaches you how to be persistent.

Finding the good helps you feel grateful. That keeps the attitude of gratitude close to your heart. It’s a cycle through which gratitude can enrich your life. It does so with good feelings. It does so by bringing other good things into your life. Finding the good turns up surprises! That can be delightful.

Because your positive attitude helps you notice the opportunities that arise as you go through your day. There are so many tiny opportunities tucked in every day! When you’re looking for the good, you tend to pay attention to good things you might not otherwise see.

I’ve learned that you can compound the impact of gratitude by writing down what you’re grateful for. I urge you to try it from time to time! For example, I found a “gratitude journal” I’d written in, with dates, from more than 5 years ago. Reading in it was a delightful experience. It cheered me up when I read through some of the pages. It gave me simple joys! Just seeing things I was expressing gratitude for back then helped me now. It brought back happy memories as well.

Reading part of my gratitude journal also gave me a bit of a historical perspective. It showed how some of what’s happening in my life right now fits with who I am over time. Reading my gratitude journal from time to time reminds me that I’m continuing to grow.

In fact, studies demonstrate that when you write down things that you’re grateful for, the impact is longer lasting. That’s true for simple lists you jot down on scraps of paper that you may never read again. As well as for journals you may keep a little bit more formally. Such as the little book that says “Gratitude” on the cover that I found amongst my things! That since that day I’ve continued writing in from time to time.

Studies show that gratitude makes a difference in people’s lives. I encourage you to consider how gratitude might fit into your life today.

Author's Bio: 

Cynthia Ann Leighton is your daily inspiration person to help you implement personal development to keep moving forward.

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