In this blog post, we’ll talk about how the attribute of gratefulness can increase the quality of your life.
I just read about an investigation conducted by Forbes Magazine looking into how gratefulness affects our lives on the scientific level. It has been discovered and confirmed time and time again by psychology and mental health professionals that gratitude is an attribute that is beneficial to a better quality of life, and thus it is a factor in longer life as well. I never thought about that quality being a factor in a happier life. I had always been taught that it was important to give thanks for the good things in your life. It only has been recently that my experiences in life have encouraged me to tweak that idea from just giving thanks for the good things to giving thanks for all things, whether good or bad.
Wow! So if you are a grateful person, you will be a happier person and maybe even live longer! It makes sense. The more focused on the blessings and good things that are evident in your life, the less focused you can be on the not so great things that are happening to you. It's so easy to not see the good things, and it's so much easier to see the things that are frustrating, irritating, and uncomfortable in our lives. I promise you, there will be no end to those things.
I remember reading about the Israelites in the Bible. The story goes that they were held in captivity in Egypt, and Moses (the chosen deliverer sent from God) manages their release from captivity. Their destination after leaving Egypt was to travel to the "Promised Land," which was Canaan. The interesting thing is because they spent their time in the wilderness complaining about their situation, what should have been an eleven day trip across the desert turned into 40 years!
Their ingratitude totally prolonged their negative situation in the wilderness. I believe the stories in the Bible, but whether you believe it or not, it kind of follows the same premise that has been proven by these modern day scientists that gratitude will improve your quality of life. It stands to reason that if gratitude will improve your life, conversely ingratitude will do the opposite in comparison.
I'd rather put more energy into seeing the positive things in my life and focus on those things instead of taking the easy road and complain. Sometimes the easiest thing isn't always the best thing in the long run. I have lived long enough to realize that investing in yourself pays off so much more in the long run. Instant gratification is very deceptive. It's exciting at first, but you will pay for it later. It's like living on credit. You get what you want right now, but the bill will come before you know it, and having to deal with years and years worth of bills to pay for it can feel like it's own brand of bondage.
At the end of the day, it really could be so much worse than it is. In my life of struggling through a less than happy marriage, separation, divorce, and struggling to find my own way after divorce could have been so much worse. Yes, there are things I wish I didn't have to deal with, but ultimately it's taught me the importance of growth and learning from my mistakes. It will be much better the next time around, thus it's already much better now! And I am so grateful for that!