Got two minutes in your day to spare?
We all have 1,440 minutes each day. So, two minutes seems like nothing, right? Yet, if we spend those two minutes being grateful for what we have – it can make an incredible difference in our lives.
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”
Gratitude is such an overlooked tool for a truly happy life. The thing is – we often get the timing mixed up. It’s the old ‘cart before the horse’ metaphor. Usually, when we get something, then we’re grateful. But, that’s only half of it. The real secret to gratitude is to be grateful first. Getting this right is so powerful.
Think of what Jesus always said. . . “Thank you.”
All of the great spiritual leaders throughout history spoke about gratitude. All of the most successful and happiest leaders of our time tell us that gratitude is one of the secrets to their success.
‘Sure’, you might saying, ‘it’s easy for a billionaire to be grateful.’ But, the truth is, these people were grateful first – not the other way around. I know it sounds impossible, but there’s plenty of scientific proof of this.
Being a self-proclaimed Doubting Thomas, in all of my research through the years, in all of my delving into the study of happiness – I’ve never taken something someone has said at face value. I’ve always needed proof. And it’s always lead me to science, where things can be proven.
In the case of the power of gratitude, the basic science is that what you focus on expands. Focus on all the things there are to complain about each day – and you get more of that in your days. Focus on the good – and that’s what grows in your life.
Here are three areas of science that prove this:
- Brain Science: Have you heard of the expression, ‘Neurons that fire together, wire together’? We have neurons in our brains that keep ‘firing’ along the same neural pathways as we repeat the same thoughts and feelings over and over again. An example of this is when a person keeps thinking the same negative thoughts constantly and automatically – like a loop. The negative pathways are so strong. But, these pathways can be changed with new thoughts and feelings. Regular practices like gratitude can create new neural pathways that, over time, begin to strengthen and take over.
- Energy Science: Like Einstein said, we are all energy. In fact, every single thing is energy at the quantum level. We are living in an ocean of energy. And everything is vibrating at a certain frequency. As the Law of Vibration states, ‘like attracts like’. So, we are constantly attracting into our lives the same people and things that we are vibrating at. This field of science is so exciting, but it’s still so new. Generations from now, this knowledge will be as common as the Law of Gravity.
- Thought Science: Have you heard of Dr. Masaru Emoto’s famous experiments with water crystals? He basically had people think certain thoughts and feelings around water. When he examined the water under super powerful microscopes, he found that the molecular structure of the the water had changed. Thoughts like love and gratitude produced beautiful water crystals and destructive thoughts produced erratically formed molecules. Proof that our thoughts affect our reality.
Here are some of the benefits to practicing gratitude daily:
- Better relationships
- Improves physical health
- Improves mental health
- Reduces anger
- Improves sleep
- Improves self-esteem
So, what’s the best way to practice gratitude? Just start counting. Count anything in your life that you are thankful for. This can include the big things and the little things; the tangible and the intangible. You could never run out of things to be grateful for. And even one minute a day is great. Try it now with the timer on your phone. You’ll be surprised at how much you can list in just one minute.
This is my favorite gratitude practice. It’s called the 10-10-10. Think of (or write down in a journal if you’d like) ten things you are grateful for in your past; ten things you are grateful for in your present; and ten things you are grateful for in your future.
“There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as if everything is a miracle.”
Want a FREE 370 page E-book of my book, Simply Being Happy – 93 Ways to Replace Worry with Peace and Create a Joyful Life? Get it here.
What’s your favorite way to practice gratitude? Share in the comments below. . .