Gratitude actually does work. There is a specific way to make it work. If you've practiced gratitude and felt like it hasn't changed anything in your life, then this article is for you.
If you feel like gratitude's not working for you, maybe the things that you are choosing to be grateful for are things that you take for granted. It's so easy for us to take for granted the ability to see, the ability to hear, the ability to walk.
If you are writing the same things day in and day out in your gratitude journal, you might want to challenge yourself because you're not using gratitude to its full power. What power is that? Gratitude has the power to change the way we perceive the world.
Our brains are bombarded with billions of bits of data all the time. It filters out much of this data. What’s left is our view of the world at any given time. For example, you probably didn’t notice the feel of the clothes against your skin or the temperature of the room or a slight noise outside your window until I pointed it out to you. Your focus was on other things.
Gratitude affects what you focus on. Gratitude trains your brain to look for the good things that happen in your life. This is how you can make gratitude work for you.
Each evening, make it a point to write down five things that you were grateful for that day. For example, maybe you had your hands full and somebody held the door open for you. That's something to be grateful for. Maybe you got a surprise phone call from a friend. Or you're going to a party and somebody offers to give you a ride since they're going to the same party. There's a snow day and you get to spend some time with your kids.
There are a lot of little things that happen in our lives that we just don't notice because our brains decided to focus on something else instead. Our brains usually decide to focus on problems and things that don’t go well.
The practice of gratitude trains your brain to start looking for these little things that went well. Especially if you know you're going to have to write them down at the end of the day.
Once you have gotten your brain trained into looking for the good things in your life, it could start to feel like there's hardly anything bad happening in your life.
If you want to really take advantage of the power of gratitude. Start looking for the things that are different in your life. If you feel like you're constantly juggling multiple demands, putting out fires and dealing with problems, gratitude can help you become more sensitive to seeing the blessings in your life.