Sometimes, at the end of a day of teaching, after all the students leave, I take a moment of silence. In an empty classroom, I pause to be thankful for what I get to do in this life. Do you practice gratitude?
I’m a college instructor. I love my career. I get paid for helping others become better speakers and communicators. How cool is that?
I know you might not be working at your dream job. I know your situation might not be perfect. We all have challenges. There’s one sure way to make things better: Practice gratitude.
When we have gratitude, it changes out attitude. It’s hard to be negative when you find room in your heart to be thankful for what you have. There are many who have less than you.
Are You Unhappy With Your Place In Life?
As a teacher, I’ve worked with thousands of students. As a blogger, I’m constantly using social media. I’ve noticed something: most people are dissatisfied with their place in life. The majority of these people never do anything about their unhappiness. They just walk through life complaining about their circumstances.
What if I told you that the first step to finding happiness is simply to have gratitude for what you already have? What if I told you that having gratitude for your current place in life is exactly what you need to become more successful? It’s true. Check out these benefits of gratitude according to Greater Good: The Science Of A Meaningful Life:
Physical Benefits Of Gratitude
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
Psychological Benefits Of Gratitude
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness
Social Benefits Of Gratitude
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated.
If that’s not reason enough for being thankful for what you have, I don’t know what is. How about success? According to a classic article by Geoffrey James at Inc.,
People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what’s wonderful in their life. Because they enjoy the fruits of their successes, they seek out more success. And when things don’t go as planned, people who are grateful can put failure into perspective.
He goes on to suggest that an attitude of gratitude is an exercise. It’s a habit that we need to create. He recommends the following:
The best time to exercise gratitude is just before bed. Take out your tablet (electronic or otherwise) and record the events of the day that created positive emotions, either in you or in those around you.
When you make a habit of practicing gratitude, you essentially reprogram your brain. This reprogramming leads you to focus on the good, the successes. It also helps you to overcome and learn from your failures.
Take a moment, right now, to reflect on the good things in your life. Accept the not-so-good things. You might not be in an empty classroom, knowing you’ve been blessed by thousands of students. But you have things to be thankful for. We all do. Practice gratitude today and every day.