Do you want to be happy?
It’s a silly question, I know.
OF COURSE, you want to be happy! Everyone does.
Happiness can be hard to come by, though. Given our stressful, busy, difficult lives and everything going on in the world, it’s often difficult to find things to be happy about.
But I’m going to share a simple yet incredibly powerful technique that is absolutely guaranteed to make you happier.
Want to know what it is?
Simple: it’s gratitude.
As experts  will tell you, “Gratitude supports happiness.” It promotes “feeling purposeful and connected and cultivating satisfaction and self worth, as well as simply feeling pleasure.”
When you take the time to be grateful, there are both physical and emotional benefits.
Improve immune function
Lower blood pressure
Enhance heart health
Decrease anxiety and stress
Reduce depression risk 
That’s on top of the positive impact it has on our psychological wellbeing! You’ll find your self-esteem is lifted, your emotions become overall more positive, and you develop a more optimistic view of the world around you. Your body produces a lot of feel-good chemicals, like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin that improve your mood, induce feelings of generosity and trust, increase pleasure sensations, and even help you feel connected to those around you.
Practicing gratitude is easy:
Actively be thankful out loud for one small thing every day
Notice small acts of kindness from others and show appreciation
Pay attention to people who are friendly, polite, and kind to you
Acknowledge the good things in your life
Being more grateful will improve your health on every level.
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But in this post, I want to highlight a different—and perhaps more important—form of gratitude.
Self-gratitude, or gratitude toward yourself.
It’s often easy to be grateful for someone else who does nice things for you, or some external factor that makes you happy. But it’s much more difficult to praise and be grateful for ourselves.
Most of us feel like we’re being narcissistic or vain when we practice self-gratitude. Or we have a hard time seeing the truth about just how much we’re accomplishing or how much progress we’ve made.
Which, in many ways, is why it’s even more important to practice self-gratitude!
You don’t have to say it out loud or share it with anyone else. But you do need to take some time every day to sit, pay attention to the things you do and bring into your life, and acknowledge it—even in just a thought.
Acknowledging how far you have reached and what a wonderful person you are can actually re-program your mind to make you feel happier. You’ll start to notice the positive changes you’re making, the effort you’re investing, and the progress that you’re seeing as a result. Over time, you’ll find you are more compassionate with yourself, less judgmental of the mistakes you make, more patient, and easier-going with your efforts.
How can you practice self-gratitude?
Step 1: Create a statement that acknowledges what you do and why you do it. For example, your statement can be something along the lines of “I’m grateful I can help others by___________.” Or “I’m grateful for how I am changing ________ world for the better by __________.”
Step 2: Set a time for daily gratitude. You really only need a few minutes each day to practice gratitude. Set aside 2-5 minutes in the morning, and the same amount of time in the evening. Spend most of the time counting your blessings for all the good things you have in life, but give yourself at least 60 seconds to practice self-gratitude during that time.
Step 3: Repeat. Do it daily.
That’s it! It’s not some complex, complicated practice that requires intense focus or large quantities of time invested. It’s simple, easy, and something you can do with just a few minutes each day.
The more you get in the habit of practicing this self-gratitude, the easier it will become to notice the good things about yourself, your behavior, actions, and even your thought patterns. It will change you to become a more positive person overall—not just about your circumstances and the world around you, but about YOU, too.
Over time, you’ll change your thought, speech, and behavioral patterns to be more positive. This change will bring about so much happiness in your life because you are actively looking for the good to highlight. Small daily acts of gratitude and self-gratitude are guaranteed to make you happier!
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