When you feel like your dream journey is beyond your control, or that your life will never change, incorporate a grateful heart is actually good for you. Gratitude will keep you on your dream journey. Gratitude will remind you that you are worthy of your dream.
Dr. Robert Emmons, a U.S. professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, is considered one of the leading authorities on the subject of gratitude.
He’s been researching gratitude for over a decade and in his research, he discovered that people who view life as a gift and consciously acquire an “attitude of gratitude“ experience greater emotional and physical health, as well as stronger bonds in their personal relationships and with the community at large.
It turns out that being grateful really does make your life better. My guess is that is can probably help make your dreams come true, too.
How spending time being grateful is beneficial with Dr. Emmons’ 4 points:
1. Gratitude allows celebration in the present.
2. Gratitude blocks toxic emotions like envy, resentment, regret, and depression.
3. Grateful people are more stress resilient.
4. Gratitude strengthens social ties and self-worth.
Emmons found that cultivating a regular gratitude practice can increase happiness by as much as 25%, and couple it with keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks (21 days) and Emmons says you will sleep better and have more energy too.
Woo Ri (Joanne) Choi, a student in the “Human Happiness” psychology class at UC Berkeley created the following video on how a simple practice of keeping a gratitude journal change her life:
In a study led by Emmons colleague, Philip Watkins, participants were asked to recall an unpleasant, unresolved memory–a time they were victimized or betrayed or hurt in some way that still made them upset. The participants were randomly assigned to complete one of three different writing exercises, one of which involved focusing on positive aspects of the upsetting experience and considering how it might now make them feel grateful.
The grateful writers weren’t told to deny or ignore the negative aspects of their memory. Yet they seemed more resilient in the face of those troubles. (Source: Emmons @greatergood.berkeley.edu)
Gratitude is the feathered bed that softens life when you fall.
It’s not about “positive thinking” it’s about recognizing all the amazing good that is in your life right now — from the eyes in which to read this to the fingers that allow you to move the mouse or your breath and heart that are working to keep you alive.
It’s about the warm socks on your feet, the gentle breeze on a warm day and the clouds that drift silently over our worlds.
Gratitude is about honoring that which you wish to see grow exponentially. It’s about cherishing this life for the gift that it is knowing there are people right now at this very moment fighting for theirs. Don’t wait until it’s too late to see all the wonder and magic that exists right now for you at this time.
You are no accident. You belong here. Be grateful.
For today you could be listed in someone else’s gratitude journal. Maybe you are their dream-come-true.
Sue Levy is the founder of the South African Just Pursue It Blog and Inspirational Women Initiative. She’s a motivational writer and media designer, who is obsessed with everything inspirational with a hint of geek. She thrives on teaching women how to be brave and take big chances on themselves.