SELF-GRATITUDE: 5 REASONS TO START PRACTICING IT TODAY

Increase Happiness as You Notice the Good That You Bring to the World



Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash

Gratitude makes us happier by retraining our minds to notice the good that is already present. As we recognize the abundance that flows into our lives through the kind acts of others or the way that nature provides our food and beautiful landscapes to delight in, we crowd out negative thoughts of fear and anxiety.


Our mental focus can only be directed towards one attitude at a time. We can’t be thankful and stressed in the exact same moment. In the same manner, we can’t be confident and self-critical at the same time.


Gratitude is a way to acknowledge the goodness in our lives. Self-gratitude is a way to acknowledge the goodness in our selves.

The concept of self-gratitude is a powerful way to transform self-doubt into self-compassion. This then translates into greater confidence which opens the door to more motivation and a greater sense of meaning and life satisfaction.


When you start practicing self-gratitude, you will notice its power through these five insights and benefits:


1. YOU ARE THE SOURCE OF THE GOOD YOU WANT TO RECEIVE


When we appreciate who we are and the value that we bring to others, we acknowledge that we can be the source of what we think we need in life.


Seeking more kindness, understanding, and compassion? Through practicing self-gratitude, you can learn to start recognizing how YOU already bring kindness, understanding, and compassion to life through the things you do for others.


You are the source of all positive qualities, but you don’t actually recognize this until these qualities flow out from within you and touch the lives of others.

Every time you notice how these qualities radiate forth from you, you become aware of how your actions positively impact others. You start recognizing that what you say and do does matter. Your presence affects everyone around you!


2. OWN YOUR STRENGTHS SO YOU CAN USE THEM MORE OFTEN


Many of us have been conditioned to minimize and trivialize the good we bring to others. Humility is indeed a virtue. But there is a difference between being humble and downplaying our own positive contributions.


As women, we probably experience this more often than men. Sometimes we may not feel like we’re contributing enough simply by being who we are and by doing what we naturally do for others. Take the concept of motherhood, for example. A mother spends much of her day directly contributing to her child’s happiness, development, and well-being. Yet too often, she doesn’t even think to recognize all of the love that so beautifully pours out from her as a gift that she’s bringing to the world. She then may not feel like she’s doing enough and doesn’t recognize her own magnificence.


When we practice recognizing the goodness that flows from us, we open our hearts to receiving the appreciation that we may have otherwise dismissed.

Instead of glossing over compliments and then wondering why we never feel good enough, we learn to acknowledge our own contribution to the world. As we own our strengths, we can start using them more consciously.


3. GAIN THE COURAGE TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS


When we recognize our own goodness, we give ourselves permission to tap into its power more often. We start trusting ourselves. Our increased confidence allows us to step outside our comfort zones and take calculated risks.


Every time we step outside our comfort zones and follow the voice of our heart, we increase our courage. We enter a positive feedback loop where our increased confidence bolsters our courage and our courage bolsters our confidence.

When we understand our own worth, we see that our dreams are just as important as those of others. We learn to take action despite the winds of fear and doubt that may occasionally creep in.


4. IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS


When your own self-image is elevated, you start seeing others in a new light. As you feel more compassion towards yourself, you recognize the common humanity you share with others.


Rather than blaming the negative things in your life on what someone did or did not do for you, you start taking responsibility for how you feel — and this creates tremendous internal power. When you realize that you have control over how you respond to others, you can choose to come from a space of love, kindness, and self-respect more often. As you do so, you teach people how to treat you by showing them you want to be treated.

As you treat others with more compassion, they start treating you differently as well. You become the source of positive change just by being your radiant self.


5. EXPERIENCE ALL THE BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE


Whether directed at ourselves or something external to us, the positive effects of gratitude span from our physical well-being to our mental health, relationships, and even productivity.


Physical Health:

  • Negative emotions like blame, shame, guilt, and victimizations trigger the fight-or-flight response, causing us to feel stress which weakens our immune system.

  • Positive emotions like gratitude and compassion activate the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing our stress levels.

  • Gratitude has been shown to improve sleep quality, lower blood pressure, lower levels of inflammation, and increase energy.

  • Gratitude can promote healthy habits like exercising and better nutrition choices. Self-gratitude can help us value our health more which boosts our internal motivation to take better care of ourselves.

Mental & Emotional Health:

  • Greater levels of happiness, life satisfaction, and fulfillment.

  • More optimism, higher self-esteem, and less self-centeredness.

  • Increased resilience and ability to deal with challenges.

  • Greater emotional intelligence as we recognize our own power to change our response to a situation by changing our attitude.

Social Relationships:

  • Stronger relationships through realization of our mutual inter-dependence.

  • Increased sense of compassion and a greater tendency towards altruism.

Productivity/Career:

  • Greater mental clarity as a result of less stressful feelings.

  • High productivity and more internal motivation.

  • Greater ability to deal with adversity and step beyond comfort zones.

BE GRATEFUL FOR THE MIRACLE THAT YOU ARE!


Take a few minutes every day to stop and recognize how you have contributed to others’ lives today. Integrate self-gratitude into your gratitude practice. You are essential to life itself. Be grateful for being you — just as you are.


You are appreciated more than words can express.


Sources [Gratitude benefits]: https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-gratitude-research-questions/ https://www.happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/