If you think you don’t have enough, consider that you probably have the resources to provide your next meal.
Most Americans have a lot to be grateful for. Being grateful is one of the best things you can do for your health. It promotes better health, decreases anxiety and depression, improves sleep, gives you higher, long-term satisfaction, and makes you a nicer person to be around.
However, it is a cultural trend to believe you don’t have enough things and need more. You may not have everything you want, but you most likely have everything you need. Most Americans have adequate shelter, transportation, clothes, access to clean water, education, and food. You most likely have every tangible object required to survive another day. A lot of people call themselves poor, all the while spending $4 a day at Starbucks. You have a lot to be grateful for. As a cultural rule, Americans have more than most, less than some, but overall, everything they need.
Eighty-four percent of Americans have higher family incomes than their parents had at the same age. Across all levels of the income distribution, this generation is doing better than the one that came before it.2 That is, the typical person in the bottom 5 percent of the American income distribution is still richer than 68 percent of the world’s inhabitants.3 These statistics should remind you that you have a great life, full of amazing things that you can be grateful for.
The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.
– Dr. Robert Holden
Fresh Ideas to Extend Your Expiration Date
Make a list of all the things you need. Your needs generally include air, water, food, housing, clothing, and some form of transportation. Do you have access to these things? Awesome. Then you already have a lot to be grateful for, and everything else you have is just extra!
Keep a daily gratitude journal, listing five things you are thankful for. As you are falling asleep at night, count your blessings instead of sheep. Make it a point to tell your partner or family something you appreciate about them every day. Make gratitude a part of your life and notice how it changes you for the better.
Remind yourself daily of the things you have rather than the things you do not have.
Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, by Robert A. Emmons, is a well-researched, well-written book on the subject of gratitude and how it can impact your life for the better. It includes relevant tips on how to apply gratitude. This book is one of several titles the author has written on the subject.
At happyrambles.com, you can keep an online gratitude journal free of charge. Every day you will get an e-mail with the question “What are you grateful for today?” You can reply and the entry will be stored forever, for your eyes only. It’s a great way to make gratitude a part of your daily ritual.