6 Benefits of Gratitude
Showing your gratitude is the best way to spread positive feelings in the world around you. When you think about it, reaching a goal starts with one single positive thought.
How do you feel when someone sincerely expresses their gratitude to you? It makes you feel good about yourself, doesn’t it? These positive feelings can lift you up, boost your enthusiasm, and motivate you to go out there and achieve even more.
Feeling grateful for what you have can produce good feelings sustaining your drive towards your goals with a rush of endorphins, that’s right it actually changes your brain chemistry.
Once you begin to get how vital gratitude is to everything in your life, you won’t want to leave home without it. In fact, you’ll want to open your eyes every morning with it. Gratitude can have some seriously positive snowball effects.
I regularly make gratitude a part of my daily practice but in the past I focused only on what I was grateful for externally. As I journey this year towards a healthier relationship with my body, I am adding personal gratitude to this list. For example: expressing gratitude for my strong legs that carry me through the day or my bright smile that brightens my face. I do this while looking in the mirror – it’s hard right now. I am hoping it gets easier. If you want to follow or join me on my journey to self-love this year, join me on Facebook here.
Here are some of the benefits of gratitude:
1. It helps us get to our goals! We all want to reach our goals. When you feel grateful, it tends to be a lasting and selfless feeling. It’s much more than just a momentary burst of positive energy; it has staying power that will provide a big boost for you to reach your goals.
2. What we appreciate appreciates! It tends to have the effect of increasing the properties or value of whatever you are shining the light of your appreciation upon.
3. Strengthened relationships. At the end of the day, nothing matters more than our interpersonal relationships. There are so many ways to express your gratitude to your loved ones, including saying, “Thank you,” writing a letter or giving them a thoughtful gift. When you make this a regular practice, you’ll have long-lasting and loving relationships.
While expressing your gratitude to others, be sure you’re open and expressive. Don’t hold back! Don’t rob others of your love. People don’t know what you’re thinking, and hearing it from your mouth can make all the difference.
And don’t forget your relationship with yourself! Join me for a practice in writing love notes to yourself here.
Showing gratitude is a two-way street though. Set the intention to remain open to receive gratitude, which is really just an extension of love and appreciation, from others as well. Remain open to give and receive.
4. Gratitude improves communication. Practicing gratitude makes communication flow better all around. Think about it, the opposite of gratitude is criticism. And disapproval tends to make people shut down and stop trying.
5. It makes for more effective constructive criticism. No matter how we express constructive criticism, it often makes the recipient defensive or even angry. No one likes a blow to the ego. A grateful attitude can take you a long way and help you achieve your end goal. You can express criticism quite effectively when you also emphasize what you appreciate about them.
By expressing your gratitude to others, they’re more likely to show an interest in helping you, too. Or to spontaneously improving themselves, gratitude is interesting like that.
6. Preserving memories. You can preserve memories in a positive way when you keep a gratitude journal. You’ll be able to enjoy your memories again and again when you read about these happy times in the future.
We can actually reconstruct our past in this healthy way, by noticing the good in our lives. What we focus on grows! If we remember all of the good stuff, we tend to create more of it in our lives. Another interesting phenomenon of gratitude!
Show Your Gratitude Every Day
Showing gratitude to others may seem like a selfless act, but it’s something that also gives you great benefits. When you show your gratitude every day, you change your mind, you change the way you think.
You’ll appreciate your life when the majority of your thoughts remain positive. Negative thoughts can sometimes be overwhelming, and just because you have them doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. They happen to everyone, but you can strive to keep them to a minimum with an attitude of gratitude.
Remind yourself of the big picture whenever a negative thought comes up. If a silly argument with your wife or friend makes you super mad, take a deep breath and think for a moment. Remember the argument is temporary and, instead, feel grateful for the gift of this relationship. Do you know how many people are dying for a partner or companion? You are so blessed to have this person to fight with!
Our days on this earth are numbered so we must cherish the time we have together and enjoy each day as if it were our last.
I am honored to be one of the contributors to this beautiful daily gratitude journal Live in Gratitude Daily, available on Amazon.com. It’s full of inspirational stories, quotes and writing prompts to support your daily gratitude practice.