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“The more we appreciate what we have the more we will have to appreciate.” ~ Zig Ziglar (American motivational author & speaker)

 “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie (American author)

Mr. Ziglar's quote is saying that appreciation has benefits, while the second quote explains so many ways that being grateful is good.

If you appreciate someone or something it means that they are important to you. If you appreciate something you notice how nice it is and the positive attributes instead of focusing on its flaws

Gratitude can make sadness less common because people appreciate the people and possessions they have rather than dwelling about what they don't have. Gratitude makes sadness less powerful and sometimes makes happiness more common. Gratitude reduces stress because people appreciate their opportunities rather than worrying about their challenges.

image of girl sipping tea and gratitude

 

Appreciate Happiness

People who appreciate the little things are often happier. I have friends who appreciate the beauty of a flower, but they also appreciate more complex issues, such as freedom or friendship. Appreciating life is best done when you look at the bigger picture and recognize your impact on others around you. When you appreciate yourself for being unique, then you can appreciate others for their differences, too.

Life is not always easy and some people get stuck in negative thinking patterns that keep them from understanding happiness. If this sounds like you, find out more about cognitive behavioral therapy to help improve your overall mental health and well-being. Life is too short to focus on the negatives.

Find what you appreciate in life and appreciate it fully. Appreciate yourself for your willingness to appreciate others.

The next step is to appreciate the little things in your daily routine. Enjoying little moments of happiness each day can make all the difference in how you feel about yourself, your personal time and your overall well-being.

If you appreciate small, simple acts, then you'll appreciate bigger acts of good fortune more than ever before! Americans spend thousands of dollars on products that claim to improve their happiness quotient or overall state of mind. However, there are affordable ways to enjoy life without spending too much money. What's important is that you reinforce this idea until it becomes part of your overall worldview.

 With the help of family and friends, you can appreciate all that life has to offer. You may even begin to feel better about yourself because you are focused on the bigger picture instead of just living moment-to-moment. That's a great way to enjoy life – by appreciating yourself for being able to appreciate other people!

Many people believe that when you appreciate the small things in life, you are well on your way to being happy. But, what is happiness?

Most emotions are transitional. This means that you are never in one emotional state for long periods. Emotions are fluid. People who are considered upbeat will have moments of sadness or depression. Even depressed people are not depressed all the time. They have moments of happiness, too. As you explore your emotions, you'll better appreciate the many moods that we all encounter each day in our human experience.

As an example, think about a major event such as a war. When two countries are fighting, both sides lose lives. War is a horrible example of our human condition and can last for several years. But, when the war is over, the countries are euphoric and citizens celebrate. The bloodshed of battle has ended and people return to their homes and begin to repair their infrastructure and heal their family units.

As I travel, I often visit military museums and seek out personal stories of triumph and overcoming adversity. It's a dramatic example, but well illustrates the varied emotions that evolve based on specific situations.

 

It is common to discover in the museums that the euphoria from the war ending didn't last long. The pain of the war lingers in the hearts of those directly impacted.

In a broad view, nothing has changed in the world…the sun still rises each day.

Everyone must still manage their lives. In time, the state of happiness drifts away.

Appreciate the Transient Emotions

Emotional states are not absolute. Emotions shift from one to the other constantly, but you don't always feel better after an episode of distress or pain than before it started- even if that's what should happen for your mental health!

Mental distress can often be very relative in nature: while some people may experience relief once their symptoms subsides (and they would say things like “I'm finally feeling okay”), others will continue experiencing those same feelings without any change at all.

The same is true in a smaller way with temporary illnesses, for example. Suppose you have a migraine headache that leaves you uncomfortable and in pain. When you are better, you feel a wonderful sense of relief.

However, you don’t feel any better than you did when you weren’t experiencing the mental anguish and pain. It’s relative to the earlier situation. That’s how emotional states work. They go from one to the other constantly. Our task is to observe and appreciate the moments as they process with the changing environments and shifting emotional inputs throughout our day.

The Path to Happiness Begins with Contentment

Appreciating the little things in life may lead to happiness. But, it’s likely you are content more than you are happy.

Contentment can almost be thought of as a neutral state, leaning on the side of happy. Contentment is soft and comfortable and there isn't anything wrong with being in a state of contentment.

But, contentment isn’t revealing anything that is making you overly happy or creating that sense of euphoria.

There may be too much pressure striving for happiness when contentment is the goal. Appreciating the little aspects of your life will lead to contentment. Don't worry about trying to make yourself happy all the time. Those happy times will occur naturally when you practice looking for the little things to appreciate in your life.

If you spend most of your life content, you are doing something right. 

Here are some tips for affirming your gratitude, enforcing contentment, and using the little things in life to inspire your happiness.

Tips for Contented Living

Think about the people you love and what you enjoy about having them in your life.

Think about yourself. Give thanks for everything you like about yourself. Love yourself and cherish your flaws.

Appreciate nature. Go for a walk and increase your appreciation of the grass, sky, trees, and small creatures.

Find thankfulness in the services that you enjoy – whether a morning cup of coffee at your favorite bakery or the benefits of a local library – these little things offer gratitude and joy.

In conclusion, being grateful for what you have is good for your mental well-being because it allows you to appreciate life's many different aspects or appreciate how nice something is instead of focusing on its flaws. It also means that you will be happier and less stressed out if you're constantly thinking about all of the amazing things in your life.

Bonus – Every Day Joy – The book of short and relevant essays about finding joy in the little things of life. In my essay,  I share how outdoor moments and photography bring simple joys to light in my life. This is the book that, as a contributing author, I became an Amazon #1 Bestselling Author. (Yes, there were moments of euphoric happiness!)

If you enjoy the book, a review on the Amazon site would be much appreciated.

Here's the background story and order details for  Everyday Joy at my author website – www.gwyngoodrow.com/books.

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PS. My self-discovery has energized my creativity. In the experience, I discovered that my fashions were not aligned to my true energy. I create more easily and express myself more honestly when wearing comfortable clothes! Then I discovered that I'm not alone. Here are some links to a website (Dressing Your Truth/Carol Tuttle). This program has facilitated a transformation to align my inner creativity to the tangible elements in my wardrobe. 

Dressing Your Truth 
The Carol Tuttle Healing Center 
The Child Whisperer 

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