Introverts are, by their very nature, highly pensive.
This, as introverts know all too well, can be a double-edged sword.
Living in our thoughts can be a great thing if all is going great in our lives, but if we find ourselves harping on unfavorable past or future events, it can do a number on our psyche.
In this post, I'd like to focus on one particular way introverts can wield their introspective nature for the betterment of their and others' lives.
Truthfully, this tip can apply to and bear fruit for just about anyone -- not just introverts.
But since introverts have such active minds, they should have an easier time getting "in the zone" than those who don't exactly call themselves deep thinkers.
Gratitude had been proven to boost happiness in those who practice it regularly.
Those who take a few minutes out of their busy day to notice and reflect on the things and people they're thankful for experience more positive emotions.
In fact, studies show that people who are mindful of their blessings express more kindness and compassion. They also tend to sleep better, exercise more frequently, and have stronger immune systems.
Here are a few ways to integrate gratitude into your everyday life (if you haven't done so already):
1. Keep a daily gratitude journal.
2. Tell your loved ones how grateful you are to have them in your life.
3. Aim for at least one act of kindness in your life every day.
4. Try a half-glass-full approach when confronted with adversity.
5. Volunteer at or donate to an organization whose mission you support fervently.
6. Learn to find pleasure in simplicity.
7. Thank others when they do nice things for you, and reciprocate the favor later on.
8. Rather than yearning for the best or most of everything, strive to make the most of what you already have.
9. Try to see challenges as stepping stones for improvement and as opportunities for strengthening your resolve.
Introverts can at times be very focused on themselves, but not in a good way.
We become so consumed with stuff -- the upcoming presentation at work, whether our new neighbor likes us -- that we neglect to stop and smell the roses.
We need to remind ourselves that, though far from perfect, our lives are far better than those of many people out there in the world.
For example, rather than ruminating on the ways your job could be better, why not think about how it can be, well, worse?
Maybe your office is just five minutes away from home, which means you don't have to deal with traffic. Or, the employee perks and benefits you receive are pretty exceptional.
Just picture yourself having to spend an hour in traffic each way, or having to get by on a crummy salary or benefits package, and you'll be more appreciative of what you have.
The same applies to our partner, home, health, and virtually anything else we can think of.
Homeless people would do anything to have a car, home, and warm food on the table.
Even if we don't have the biggest house or nicest car, those folks would do anything to be in our position.
While it's fine to strive for improvement, it's important we never lose sight of the things we have.
There will always be something larger and with more bells and whistles, and more money you can acquire.
But do material possessions ultimately provide long-lasting happiness?
No, happiness is all in one's mindset. To one person, being rich may mean having $10 million in the bank. To someone else, it could mean being healthy, having a loving family, and waking up every day with a roof over his or her head.
Be grateful! Gratitude is a sure key to unlocking happiness.