During this time of year, we celebrate what we are thankful for. And this isn’t just a great exercise for the Thanksgiving table; it also sets a foundation for our success. Practicing gratitude regularly changes our brains so that we are able to stand on a foundation that is built on positivity and appreciation. 

Why is gratitude so important?

It places us in a positive headspace.

Reflecting on what we are thankful for helps us recognize how far we have come, better identify who we are, and appreciate who we surround ourselves with. In addition, this reflection places us in a more positive mental state so that no matter what happens to or around us, we continue to remain positive and centered. And when we are positive and centered, we are better able to respond rather than react. 

There are numerous social benefits. 

When you practice gratitude and live your life rooted in a place of appreciation, you will become magnetic to people who live similarly. The old adage says, “birds of a feather flock together,” and you want to recruit a flock of people who will lift you up, invest in your dreams, and appreciate you. When you practice gratitude, these people will flock to you. This helps establish and strengthen our social status and relationships. People are happy when they see happiness.

It’s hard to be stressed when we’re grateful. 

Gratitude as a foundational aspect in your life makes it hard to be stressed or have anxiety because you can find appreciation in anything. Science says that by standing on that foundation, you become physically and emotionally stronger. This mental wellness eventually leads to better sleep, and you won’t find yourself lying awake at two in the morning stressed about tomorrow or yesterday. This all paves the way for us to find true happiness.

It helps us develop positive character traits.

Coming from a place of gratitude also helps us maintain optimism, foster empathy for others, make us feel worthy and more self-assured and raise our spirituality. When we possess these traits, we are ultimately so much happier. And happy people are successful. Often people think that it is because of money that successful people are happy, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Grateful people are happy, and happy people become successful. A foundation of gratitude will help us think outside of ourselves and leave our ego at the door.

It’s easier to dream big. 

When your dream’s foundation is built on gratitude, you will have more clarity about what you want to achieve and set big goals for yourself. You’ll be able to build a better, more robust plan toward achieving your dreams, and taking action will feel effortless. You’ll find that because you are living more authentically, networking will become more accessible, planning will become more manageable, and people will want to help you reach your goals.

How can we tap into gratitude and build this foundation? 

Keep a gratitude journal.

This is something I do every day to bring clarity about what I am grateful for in the present moment and things I will be thankful for in the future. I then take time in the evening to reflect on what I was grateful for that day and reflect again on future gratitude.

Avoid being picky and find appreciation in everything.

Just recently, I had my car washed, and the very same day, it rained. Even though the rain ruined my perfectly cleaned car, I took time to find gratitude instead of frustration at that moment. I spent time reflecting on how badly our state needed the rain because of the drought and how lucky I was to even have a car to wash. There can be a moment of gratitude even in what we consider to be obstacles. There can be gratitude in moments of failure, particularly because our failures provide moments of learning. 

Practice mindfulness.

Understand the only thing that matters is the present and where you are right now. One of my favorite quotes from Peaceful Warrior asks, “What time is it?” and the answer is “Now.” It goes on to ask, “Where are you?” and answers, “Here.” Simply put, these are the only things that matter–the here and the now. 

Spend time with loved ones. 

Truly, they are the only people who matter. They are the reason you do what you do, why you are who you are, and why you’re at where you’re at. This will allow you to communicate from a place of love. 

This holiday season, I challenge you to begin living out this self-fulfilling prophecy. Stop pursuing success and start being aware of what you are already succeeding in. Be thankful for that and live in that space. Use this holiday to begin building the foundation of gratitude that will strengthen your life in every way. And if you need help finding and practicing gratitude, contact us today!