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When it comes to being wronged, it’s wildly important not to hold grudges or hurt for a long time. This doesn’t just hurt you, but the relationships around you. Bitterness, cynicism, exhaustion and stress are all you can really expect from grudge holding. The only person who doesn’t get hurt by you holding this grudge is the perceived wrong-doer.

Bitterness, cynicism, exhaustion and stress are all you can really expect from grudge holding Click To Tweet

Encouraging gratitude in your life can help you deal with this in a couple of ways. First off, there’s the fact that the situation, however bad, could always be worse and that you should be grateful and aware of what’s going right in your life. Then you’ve got the fact that understanding the other person’s motivations, short-comings and issues can help you accept them for what they are, and what they’ve done to you. Gratitude can be a key pillar in getting over grudges.

It can also help you accept things in your life that you can’t change. If you’ve got an injury, or a body image problem, learning to be grateful for what you do have can help you learn to love yourself, regardless. At the very least, we can all always be grateful to be alive, in the here and now. There’s always that. Take the sting out of toxic emotions, and manage your feelings and mind better by becoming grateful.

There Are Proven Changes to the Brain with Gratitude

People do not think of gratitude as being a particularly transformative route. It can be helpful, sure, but it’s hardly going to change the way you think about life? Wrong. Gratitude can change literally everything, from the way you view others and yourself, to the way you perceive your reality, and how it affects you.

Gratitude can change literally everything, from the way you view others and yourself, to the way you perceive your reality, and how it affects you.

As a result, you can expect some fairly substantial changes in your mental state and function. At the very least you’re going to feel happier, more aware and more functional. Less inwardly drawn, and more focused on life and people around you. It becomes less about how things affect you, and more about how you affect others. It can even change the very structure of your brain.

There are plenty of ancient teachings and ideas out there that the purpose of life itself should be simply to have a positive effect on people around you. While that seems incredibly simple, it’s also noble and healthy as a long-term goal, and worthy of anyone. Learning to be of help, value and support to people around you, rather than simply focusing on yourself, is always going to make you happier, it’s going to highlight your strengths and never your shortcomings, and help you deal with whatever life throws at you, making you emotionally stronger.

What are the Long-Term Benefits of Gratitude?

If you manage that admirable and sometimes difficult goal of truly implementing gratitude and thankfulness into your lifestyle and aims, you will notice changes. What’s more, these changes will become a part of your lifestyle and psyche. You could definitely argue that being happier, warmer and more aware is simply the way we were meant to be.

We’re told we’re better than some and lower than others, as well as that we’re infinitely special. Where can you go with that?

Today’s individualistic world, where everyone feels destined to be famous or important, and within a class-based society, where a doctor is always more socially valuable and respected than a bin-man, despite both performing roles utterly essential to society, it’s not hard to see why so many of us are unhappy. We’re a species of people designed genetically to live in small communities, looking after one another, but instead we’re thrust into this vast world, simultaneously told we’re better than some and lower than others, as well as that we’re infinitely special. Where can you go with that? The answer is gratitude, and loving and supporting the people around you. It’s easier and simpler, and almost always puts a stop that never-ending existential crisis. It can give you something to focus on, alongside that career or relationship, and is a true route to self-improvement.

There’s always further to go with gratitude. You can always be more caring, more loving, and more aware. It’s not finite. You should look after people around you, and treat others well, as much as you can. You should be aware of what is done for you, and try to return favours. The more you exhibit gratitude, to better at it you’ll get, and you will feel the benefits to the core of your person.

Having said all that that, there are ways you can go wrong here. If you’re solely focusing on others, and you’re letting yourself fall into disrepair, neglecting your own emotions, goals and aims, then you’re not going to be able to be selfless and grateful for long. You need to make sure that alongside being the grateful, decent person you are, you are caring for yourself too. Self-care is crucial when it comes to staying happy, strong and motivated. Failing to look after yourself is as bad as failing to look after others. In the end, you’ll come unstuck, and need a balance of the two.

If you’re solely focusing on others, then you’re not going to be able to be selfless and grateful for long. Click To Tweet

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