Psychology Today defines gratitude as an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has. They also refer to studies that show how cultivating gratitude can increase our well-being and happiness. So how can you cultivate gratitude or what makes it so important?
When we take time out of our busy lives and reflect on what we are grateful for, we are setting an intention for ourselves. This intention for gratitude takes away from simple wants and needs, which allows a person to feel fulfilled. It creates the space for the realization of what is truly important in life. Gratitude can be the smallest of things, even waking up in the morning and thinking “I am so grateful for this warm bed.” Sometimes when life gets hectic, we forget about the little things. We may even get so caught up, we forget about our gratitude for the bigger picture – friends, family and loved ones.
So how do we cultivate gratitude? It may be simpler than you think. You can even reflect on gratitude when you are in a frustrating situation. For instance, the next time you’re in line at the grocery store, reflect on the gratitude for the items in your basket; the ability to afford groceries is also something to be very grateful for. Looking at ways you can create light in every situation will help you find a deeper connection to gratitude in your life.