Gratitude is a beautiful quality in a person. It signals a grateful, kind, and virtuous emotional response to the fact that positive things are happening in your life, whether for you, around you, or for your loved ones. In other words, it is the act of being deeply and sincerely grateful for something that you are experiencing or have experienced. But did you know that it can also help you focus on the present?
For many people, gratitude is not easy, and this is for good reason. The world often leans toward the negative, distracting you from the many wonderful things you can appreciate. Unfortunately, focusing on those negative things tends to disrupt your concentration in your daily life.
Why did this happened? Well, negativity begets negativity. When you focus on bad things, you are not only inviting more of them, but you are also thinking about possible bad futures and the effects of traumatic pasts. You will be caught in these spirals of thought that do not allow you to be attentive or present and, in the long run, that can be bad for your mental health.
Gratitude can help with this problem. It’s a bit surprising to imagine how being thankful and grateful can so dramatically improve your life and outlook, but it’s true! Being grateful can keep you grounded in the present time, so you don’t get carried away by the regrets of the past and the worries of the future. Here are five ways gratitude can help you stay focused in the present moment.
1. It makes you happier
Gratitude has impressive effects on your long-term happiness and positive thinking. The simple act of keeping a gratitude journal can completely change your life for the better. But how does it do it and how does it connect you to the present moment?
The secret is in the hedonic adaptation. This refers to the psychological fact that you get used to and “resist” exposure to things that satisfy you hedonistically, or in other words, things that give you material pleasure of some kind. Getting hedonic pleasure repeatedly makes you enjoy those sources of happiness less over time.
This means that impulses from pleasant sources of temporary happiness, such as eating a good meal, or even big milestones of significant achievement, such as buying your first home or getting a job promotion, are feelings that you will get used to. The more stimulus you have for a certain type of pleasure, the less it affects and matters to you in the long run.
These are the benefits:
- You will begin to feel dissatisfied with your quality of life a few months after your improvement.
- Specific sources of temporary happiness will require higher and higher levels of that source to continue creating happiness for you.
- Chasing happiness based on hedonic Whims are likely to be an impossible and fruitless endeavor.
- You lose the ability to stay focused in the present moment when you are focused on impossible aspirations for the sake of happiness.
So how does gratitude change this? Well, alter the source of your happiness. When happiness comes from within and from the things that already exist around you, you don’t need to pursue more superficial forms of that feeling in hedonic activity and searching.
This is precisely why gratitude makes you happier! It is not necessary to seek external happiness in an idea of a better imagined future. Although you continue to work towards personal goals and aspirations, you also find joy in the things you already have, which makes you happier and less likely to run into the hedonic adaptation problem.
Better yet, unlike hedonic pleasure, gratitude grows into rewards over time. Studies They have shown that the psychological urge for regular gratitude becomes stronger when you practice such behavior! It’s a long-term benefit that you will carry with you throughout your life, and in fact, a few weeks of gratitude-focused thoughts can sustain you for several months. The effects of gratitude are long-lasting, so there is no reason not to start.
2. Helps you focus on positive things
There is negativity in many aspects of everyday life. When you see that negativity, your desire to escape can be overwhelming. It can jump start your focus, making you reflect on the past, catastrophize the future, and idealize other imagined situations and scenarios.
To stay focused in the present moment, you cannot keep your mind only negative. You need to learn to see positive things in your daily life and mentally focus on them. The realization that good things are present around you makes the present a much brighter place.
Gratitude helps improve your positive thinking by shifting your focus to rays of light rather than dark clouds. The brain works in such a way that the things you focus on the most are the things you are likely to attract the most and move towards. Gratitude keeps you present by challenging you to watch the positive over the negative, allowing you to see the great things you miss in life when you only see the glass half empty.
Don’t feel bad if your brain focuses more on the bad for now! Learning to focus on the good things and find them in everyday life is a skill that takes time to develop. This is due to negativity bias, which shows how human brains are wired against positive thinking. This is because the brain is designed to keep you alive, safe, and happy, so it should emphasize potential threats to your peace.
Optimism refers to positive thinking regarding the future and upcoming events. Some people think it means being unrealistic or overly idealistic, but this is not necessarily the case. Optimism in its most useful forms often implies a general positivity towards the future and the belief that even if tough times are ahead, you will be able to overcome them.
Without optimism, you cannot stay in the present moment. You will always be mulling over the uncertainty of your future and can get caught in spirals of anxiety about upcoming challenges. But with gratitude, you positive thinking is boosted significantly, allowing you to be at peace with the many possibilities that the future holds.
As mentioned earlier, gratitude involves the ability to focus on the good things in life. Of course, when you perceive your present as good, you can also believe in a good future ahead. After all, you are more likely to focus on the possible good things than the bad.
4. Reduce your worst fears
The inability to focus on the present is often rooted in fear. Fears of the future, the past, and the uncertainty of the world can take away your ability to stay focused. That is why it is important to overcome these fears and stay present, but easier said than done.
Gratitude is a great way to help reduce your worst fear. Extrapolations of your concerns to imagined catastrophes and difficult situations are often born out of fear of lack of control. When you are grateful, you learn to find beauty and rays of light in these kinds of moments.
In many cases, this kind of deep-seated fear cannot survive in the heart of a grateful person. You cannot be afraid when you are busy appreciating all the beautiful things that you can find in the world around you. Examples of fears that gratitude can help quell are:
- Fear of failing or failing; Gratitude can teach you to find the lessons in mistakes and mistakes.
- The fear of scarcity. Gratitude is abundant in nature, teaching you to appreciate what you have, no matter how little there may be
- Fear of losing control; gratitude teaches you to find wonders in the journey, even if you are being swept away by it.
5. Improve the memories you have
Memories can change over time. Although the facts surrounding them remain, the tone with which we view them can change. These nuances can change the way you stay grounded. For example, negative memories can make you feel trapped and repressed by them. Here’s how gratitude helps change this:
- Makes bad memories in good lessons and experiences, reminding you how you can appreciate how far you have come as a person and how you have grown since then.
- Corrects his rosy vision of certain circumstances, preventing him from idealizing the negative aspects of his past; Remember, gratitude does not mean blindly appreciating everything, but knowing what you can and should appreciate.
- He makes fond memories of pleasant things to hold on to, keeping them foremost in his mind and using them as examples of his strengths, how loved he is, and how capable he is.
- It helps you process complex memories and find ways to learn from them and be grateful for them in the long run, even if it takes you a while to understand them.
- It is capable of transforming negative memories into positive some, according to research.
- Helps you see certain memories with more realistic ideas; for example, you may stop viewing a difficult family member as an evil monster, but as a troublesome and toxic individual who used his pain as an excuse to lash out.
People often don’t realize how much they are missing by not being thankful! The good news is that you can start being grateful today and benefit greatly from it. It may not be that easy at first. But like many things in life, gratitude is a skill that you can develop and improve over time.
We’ve talked extensively about how gratitude keeps you aware, but being grateful is good for your mind and body in many more ways than just improving your concentration. It is good for your physical health, it provides benefits to your heart, resistance to pain, immunity and longevity. In addition, it is good for your mental health as it helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and helps with stress management. It is also good for relationships, because when you are grateful for others, they enjoy being with you even more and do not feel unappreciated.
In other words, you must start learning the virtue of gratitude right now. You will see many, many ways that your life can be affected for the better. Plus, you’ll be able to stay tuned and focus on the present, no matter what challenges it may present.