Sheila CallahamI’ve been writing about the mental and emotional benefits of practicing gratitude for years. I keep coming back to this topic because so many people don’t realize the powerful internal shift that can result from expressing authentic gratitude. If you’re not feeling as happy as you would like, practice an attitude of gratitude, and you’ll quickly see the positive difference in can make in all areas of your life.

Need proof?

I recently came across an amazingly inspirational short video about 14-year-old Jonathan Pitre, who suffers from a painful and debilitating skin disease known as Epidermolysis Bullosa. What makes Jonathan so incredible? His attitude of gratitude for each day he has and to his family for their unwavering love and support.

You shouldn’t think about what you don’t have, think about what you jonathan_pitredo have. Think about all the happiness around you. Think about all the love, not all the negative stuff. Think about the positive stuff and you’ll be a very happy person.

–Jonathan Pitre, aged 14

At 14, Jonathan’s wisdom runs deep. In his motivational messages to the world, he’s speaking the same true that any life coach will tell you: practicing gratitude is the most powerful and life-changing practice of all.

The beauty in expressing gratitude, even for the smallest thing, is that it builds upon itself. Still not convinced?

I can’t think of a better role model than Oprah to explain how this works. Click here to watch her short video What Oprah Knows About the Power of GratitudeIt’s only a few minutes, go on, have a listen!

Interestingly, a Berkeley report indicates that scientists have begun to chart a course of research aimed at better understanding the emotional and mental impact gratitude. They’re finding that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:

•Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;

•Higher levels of positive emotions;

•More joy, optimism, and happiness;

•Acting with more generosity and compassion;

•Feeling less lonely and isolated.

It’s so important to recognize the aspects of your life that are going right. The feelings associated with gratitude are linked directly to love, and we all know that love makes the world go around.

Only you can change how you feel. Start with looking around you and acknowledging all the good.

What can you be grateful for today?

Sheila Headshot_SideSheila Callaham is an author, motivational speaker, and life coach. Her forthcoming book, “Living Joyfully: Moving Through Fear to Find Your Happily-Ever-After” will be released later this year.

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