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We all know it is good to stop and smell the roses every once in a while—to pause and realize how much we have be grateful for. But did you know that gratitude is essential to success? If you can’t appreciate what you have to be thankful for right now, it is harder to achieve what you desire in the future.

In fact, gratitude changes the brain and body for the better! Research on the effects gratitude has on our biology shows how being thankful increases our longevity, our ability to use our imagination, and our ability to problem-solve.

Gratitude makes us feel that life is worth living, which brings mental health benefits in a positive feedback loop that leads to more resilience—the ability to bounce back quicker during hard times. Gratitude is therefore essential to overcoming difficult circumstances and achieving success in all areas of your life!

What are some ways you can develop a “gratitude mindset”?

1. Volunteer
Find a local organization and join their volunteer team! We have a list of organizations we support through our non-profit, the Whole Mind Project, if you are not sure where to start looking. When you help those in need, you will realize just how blessed you are!

2. Meditate
Start every morning meditating on what you are thankful for in your life. Counting your blessings early on in the day makes it easier to recognize them later because your mind will get better and better at the process of building a positive and grateful mindset. Remember, the more good you see in your life in the now moments, the happier and more successful you are likely to be at school, work, and life in the future. As Willie Nelson once said, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” 

3. Pause
Every time you find yourself feeling down, think about all the good things in your life. Maybe write down what your are grateful for on a post it note and place it somewhere near you. 

Perhaps text or call a friend and tell them how thankful you are to have them in your life. Replace negative, toxic thoughts with an “attitude of gratitude”!

Copyright © Dr. Caroline Leaf
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

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