The Power of a Grateful Heart

The Power of a Grateful Heart

All it take is three words to alter your thoughts to a more positive perspective. All it takes is 15 seconds every morning to cultivate a sense of happiness inside you. All it takes is just a quick pause in your busy life to spend time reflecting on the good to turn your attitude around. The power of gratitude is a strong one, and it can truly make your life flip around.

We live in such a fast-paced world making it easy to take everything around us for granted. The good in our life often times gets overlooked and shoved to the side, because our minds are wrapped up in the bad. The want for something greater, unfortunately, seems to overshadow the many blessings surrounding us. The consequences of this mindset can lead to us getting stuck in this unhealthy, damaging mindset. We’ve all heard the saying “you can’t buy happiness”, and as cliche as that sounds, there is a lot of truth behind it. Living for the next best thing will never satisfy, and leave you with a permanent emptiness.

Harvard Health states that, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” There are three ways of applying gratitude:  the past, present or future. Remembering all the good times you’ve had in the past and choosing to focus on those memories will make you a much happier person now. Along with that, being able to recognize the good things you have going for you now will lead you to be more content with your life. Lastly, by keeping an optimistic perspective for the future will keep you positive and hopeful.

An experiment conducted by two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California at Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, where they separated people into three groups. Group one had to write a few sentences about what made them happy and things they were thankful for each week. Group two had to write about what had made them angry throughout the week and what was really irritating them. That left group three who wrote about events that occurred throughout the week without being told to take a specific positive or negative outlook. After 10 weeks not only was group one in a happier moods and more optimistic, they felt better about their lives as a whole. They also reported spending greatly more time exercising and had fewer physical complaints. Group two had quite the opposite experience as they felt more angry and upset about their lives. All of this sprouted from taking a moment to reflect on different events of the day.

Somedays, it may seem impossible to find time to quit the noise or catch a breath. Let’s face it, life gets messy, and with that mess comes stress. Cultivating a sense of gratitude and letting it grow could be exactly what you need to calm the storm. All it takes is making a list of three things every morning to make the good overpower the bad. Whether it’s a roof to keep you dry or a stomach ache from laughing with your friends, life is made up of the tiniest little blessings.