Many people are pursuing happiness, but in fact, happiness is not an end goal to reach, but something to realize that already exists both inside and around you. It’s a matter of awareness and increasing happiness due to the great things already in your life. In fact, gratitude increases your happiness in many different arenas of life, and there’s no shame in wanting to hire a medication coach or a personal life coach to help figure all this out. Each and every person deserves to be happy for the good things in their life, and if you choose to practice gratitude, then gratitude increases your happiness by quit a bit. A meditation coach might be found online or even through a mental health expert’s referral, and a gratitude book may be found in a bookstore or library’s self-help section. If gratitude increases your happiness, then gratitude is indeed the first step to take. How can you make use of the fact taht gratitude increases your happiness?
Americans and Gratitude
Many studies and surveys are conducted to track the mental health and behavior of Americans, and this even includes something as simple as gratitude, or a lack thereof. A recent survey has suggested that only 33% of Americans are able to claim happiness in their daily lives. And while there’s no single, guaranteed path to happiness, it may help to think of such a path as being a collage of good fortunes. Such stepping stones may boost a person’s happiness at all stages of their life. What else do the studies show? A 2013 study done by the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, people who are more grateful for the good things in their waking life tend to get to sleep more easily each night. This may be due to not stressing themselves out over the things that they want, but don’t have. In particular, some 52% of women express gratitude on a regular basis, and around 44% of men do the same. What is more, people are often grateful in the face of something unexpected, at a 69% rate. After all, something just happened can’t be taken for granted, since it hasn’t been there long enough. Meanwhile, around 16% of people are seemingly prone to taking many things for granted, since they say it takes something unusual and out of the ordinary to make them feel gratitude.
Steps to Take
Some people may scoff at many concepts of self-improvement such as practicing gratitude and meditation, but today’s fast-paced, stressful business world can easily wear down the mind. Many people believe that only business success, enormous wealth, and owning a large house and fancy car bring happiness, but it could be said that such pursuits are meaningless and materialistic, and are imposed by a business world that simply wants you to buy those things. Losing perspective on all the good things already in a person’s life may cause a feeling of emptiness and lack of happiness. Fortunately, this can be reversed.
How to start? Many areas of self-improvement, from building good habits to a new diet to a workout regimen, involve self-tracking and inventory management. Someone trying to eat better notes what they eat for each meal, and someone looking to save money tracks all of their spending, big and small alike. The same is certainly true of gratitude, and may prove quite easy once a person makes a serious effort at it. This may mean keeping a gratitude log, where a person may take the time to really pay attention to what’s in their life and take note of all the good things that they can be grateful for. Many things taken for granted may be seen in a new light, and the list of things to be grateful for may be much longer than the person expects. This can even involve the most basic things, such as having a car that runs, a roof over your head, three meals a day, and good books in your bookshelf. When you’re trying to get ahead in the rat race, it’s easy to take such things for granted and forget that many Americans don’t even have that much. Meditation may help calm and open the mind enough to see these things clearly.