I have found that practicing gratitude every morning has made a tremendous positive impact on my life, and I wanted to make a page here about all the wonderful things that being grateful can do for you. That’s why I put out this request:
Why is it important to practice gratitude? How has gratitude helped make your life better? Personal stories welcome, along with arguments backed by science.
If you’re doubtful about why you should practice gratitude or you’re a bit cynical about it, I strongly recommend reading some of these responses. 🙂
Practicing gratitude is important for several reasons. First off, for the most part, many of us want to reap what we sow. As a result, if we illustrate gratitude to others, then it is sure to be returned unto us. Next, having gratitude is associated with possessing a positive mindset. This enables us to look at the bright side of things and to constantly be mindful that our situation/circumstance could always be worse. Lastly, it is certainly a pleasant experience to be surrounded by people who show their gratitude by being appreciative and respectful. Personally, gratitude has always helped me to maintain my sanity while enduring the most challenging times of my life. While being hospitalized on several occasions, I can vividly recall being thankful that I was still alive and that my condition could have been a much more severe one. During a period of facing some financial challenges, I was mindful of the fact that I still had my family, a source of income, my home, my vehicle, and the faith that I would somehow weather the storm and make it.
--Damon Nailer, livinglovingleading.net
As a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist, I share:
1. Gratitude shifts perspective. One of my favorite anonymous quotes is: There is a difference between a lump in your cereal, a lump in your throat, and a lump in your breast.
2. Daily focus on gratitude allows us to see that no matter how bad a day sucks, we still have our vision, ability to walk, a safe home, etc.
3. Many focus on what is wrong vs what is right. And we get whatever we focus on. Whatever we focus on expands. When you are grateful, blessings will expand. If you complain about what you don't have or what is not working, you will expand that.
--Nancy Irwin, drnancyirwin.com
Gratitude is key to happiness in life and relationships -- and it's not a new idea.
The tractate Ethics of the Fathers, written almost two thousand years ago asks Who is rich? He who is content with his share. (Ethics of the Fathers 4:1)
I am the author of a relationship advice book for men called Being the Strong Man A Woman Wants: Timeless wisdom on being a man which has been translated into 24 languages by publishers in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. The book discusses how financial stress can bring out or worsen problems in a marriage that would not have otherwise have arisen. It teaches the importance of a husband and wife having gratitude for what they have. Financial stress is often caused by not having gratitude for what you have and getting into financial stress to acquire the things that you want -- often it's a big house. I tell people the big house used to be slang for prison.
This financial stress can lead to divorce. To avoid this situation -- I coach people: Have gratitude for what you have. If you don't have gratitude for what you have and only focus on what you don't have, you can lose what you do have and have nothing.
Not having gratitude can also cause stress and anxiety in your mind. When your mind is telling you what your life should have been, say to yourself, Be grateful for what you have. Have gratitude for what your life is now and that voice making you feel like a failure will go away.
--Elliott Katz, ElliottKatz.com
gratitude: Practicing gratitude actually rewires the neural pathways in your brain so that being grateful becomes habitual. Then one's life becomes much more joyful.
As the ancient Talmud explains: Who is rich? Those who rejoice in what they have. It is especially important to practice gratitude now, during this challenging time. We can think about all the things we took for granted just a couple of weeks ago that we would love to be able to do now, thereby increasing our sense of appreciation. And we can focus on all the blessings that we still have in our lives right now, appreciating them more than ever before.
--Bracha Goetz, Amazon profile
Some of the benefits of gratitude include the following: reduces heart rate variability, increases immune system functioning and opens up the possible array of thoughts and actions. Gratitude adds meaning to normal actions.
A life directed by gratefulness is the panacea for unending yearnings, desires and life's ills. Gratitude leads to peace of mind, happiness, physical health and deeper more satisfying relationships. It has been conceptualized as an emotion, attitude, trait, virtue, mood and coping response.
The word “gratitude” derives from the Latin word root, “gratia,” meaning grace, graciousness or gratefulness. All derivatives from this root have to do with kindness, generousness, gifts, the beauty of giving and receiving or getting something for nothing.
The object of gratitude is directed at something other than your self and could be people, something impersonal (e.g., nature) or something nonhuman (e.g., God, animals, cosmos). Gratitude stems from a perception of a positive personal outcome, which is not necessarily deserved or earned, that is due to the actions of another.
Gratitude is defined as a perceived benefit combined with the judgment that someone, or something, else is responsible for that gain. The benefit may be material or nonmaterial (emotional or spiritual). The central theme is the recognition of an altruistic gift. Gratitude is a complex state that requires both emotional and cognitive energy (i.e., thought). Gratitude is most similar to thankfulness at one end of the scale and most dissimilar to contempt, hate and jealousy. This ability to notice, appreciate and savor the elements of one's life has been viewed as a crucial determinant of well-being (Bryant 1989; Langston 1994).
Regardless of all the scientific jargon, to me, gratitude is a foundational pillar of a happy life as makes us want to be generous towards others, build relationships with others, and appreciate that which we have.
--John Schinnerer, TheEvolvedCaveman.com
Gratitude has been a crucial part of my life… especially six years ago in 2014 when I drove from Detroit to California and back in order to revisit my past and give gratitude to each of the mentors who made a difference in my life when I was still in my 20s and working as an electrical engineer in Los Angeles while playing pro-level racquetball. It was an 8000 mile roundtrip that took 20 days from start to finish.
When I got back, I wrote a book about it and posted quite a few videos from the trip. It was like being a ghost to past ghosts. The book is titled “Gratitude Miles – 8000 Miles of Gratitude” with its videos on YouTube that can be found using either the title or the subtitle as search keywords.
Years later, I am so glad I told each one exactly what they said that made a difference in my life… and to say “thank you and here’s why” … especially because two of those mentors I visited in 2014 passed away in 2018.
So what did giving gratitude do? It’s brought me peace of mind and a sense of no regrets.
In each case, it’d been well over a dozen years since I had seen each mentor.
After giving gratitude to every single one, there was an inner fist-pump.
Often, tears would flow as I’d drive away knowing I did right.
Each one helped me not to give up on my Destiny.
When I left LA and my engineering career in 1995, it was a leap of faith. I wanted to become a writer, a musician, a film director, and an artist – creative on a daily basis.
What prompted the trip was knowing a growing appreciation. Appreciation precipitates gratitude.
Like I told my Mom before I left, “I need to tell these people how much I appreciate the influence they actively made in my life… because they’re not getting any younger.” Now that two have passed, if I hadn’t made that trip, I wouldn’t have the sense of graceful closure I possess today. I am at peace. Again, no regrets. Giving gratitude ensured that.
Prior to those 8000 miles on the road, it helped that I worked for ten weeks earning $80 per hour to summarize legal depositions for expert witness engineers… so I had the money to make the trip – my way – and on my own terms. It enabled me to do it first class at times and to cross many items off of my bucket-list along the way… such as visiting the Grand Canyon and (later) Idaho for the first time… and a few ocean-side hotel rooms.
Gratitude was actually my penance when I’d go to Catholic confession prior to the trip. It’s therapeutic. It refines. Giving it calibrates one’s soul to True North. Knowing you did the right thing by saying “thank you” to each? Priceless.
--Brian Shell, PassionHero.com
Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It is what keeps us going through the rough times. It suppresses feelings of depression and anxiety. Living life with gratitude ultimately leads to inner peace, positivity, and happiness. It can change your entire outlook on life.
Instead of looking at things you don’t have and feeling miserable about them, you learn to appreciate what you have. Gratitude teaches you acceptance – liberating you from the toxic and negative emotions.
Here are some ways I practice gratitude in my everyday life:
1. Gratitude Journal: I have made this habit of writing about at least 7 things I’m grateful for, on a weekly basis. My journal helps me in being more optimistic even when things are tough. When I’m going through a low time, I’m forced to think about the positive things that happened during that week and hence shift my focus away from the negative ones.
“Writing about things you are grateful for can have positive psychological effects.”
2. Compliment Others: Giving a nice compliment to someone can bring a beautiful heart-warming smile to their face which can make you genuinely happy. I try to compliment at least one person in a day. This helps me to always stay positive and keep away the feelings of resentment.
3. Self-Improvement: Stop comparing yourself to others. Otherwise, you would just end up feeling sorry for yourself or be jealous of others. Instead, work on yourself to realize your dreams. I always try to challenge myself and aim at getting better than my previous self rather than competing with others. I always set small goals to achieve my targets. Remember everything is possible if you have a strong will.
--Hamna Amjad, Indoor Champ
Practicing gratitude creates a major shift in the mind that promotes a happier and more positive perspective that can be carried throughout the day. However, gratitude is so important because it has a direct effect on the giver and recipient that can improve the lives of all parties involved. Although a simple thank you may seem like a small gesture, it can have meaningful, tangible results in someone's life. In fact, a recent study revealed that the recipients of gratitude become healthier physically and mentally. In addition to helping others with their holistic well-being, gratitude creates a positive feedback loop that helps foster a happier and healthier community.
--Leia Kalani, Tropical Topics
Why is gratitude important in life?: Gratitude is the fast-track route to happiness. It is easy to fall into a place where you focus entirely on what you do not have, instead of the great things you do have. We all have things to be grateful for and by appreciating what we do have and focusing our attention on the good feelings attached to said things, what we do is actually attract more of those good feelings and 'things' into our life.
Whether you believe in the Law of Attraction or not, it does not change the fact that it is in play, constantly. You can decide whether you want to use it to benefit your life, or not.
It’s the little things... Appreciate everything, especially the littles things. It is hard to remember at times, how privileged we really are. Clean water to drink, food, a mobile phone, a friend, creativity, a bed; we already have so much to be appreciative of. Try to be thankful for everything.
Be a product of your gratitude If you are feeling grateful, then shout it from the rooftops and let everyone know it. If someone has done something nice for you or made you feel good, then be sure to express that to them.
We all love to feel appreciated, but research shows that we also love to give our appreciation. Pay it forward and show your love! Volunteering is a great way to give back and feel empowered, it’s like a 2 for 1 special!
Spend time with those you love Being around people that love and care for you is the best way to feel gratitude. Savour the moments you share together and embrace their warmth. As humans, we need to have fulfilling relationships with others in order to really thrive, so if you have drifted from those you care about, it is time to give them more of your time.
--Chloe Gosiewski, One Way Journey
It is scientifically proven that gratitude builds fortitude during the storms of life! According to a study by Psychology Today, there are seven benefits of practicing gratitude. One of these is that it increases mental strength. I like to call this fortitude.
There are also numerous studies looking at survivors of 9/11, earthquakes, mass shootings, and even the Vietnam War. In all of these studies, practicing gratitude helps to build emotional wellness and decrease levels of PTSD.
It's easy to get started with a gratitude practice. First thing in the morning and right before you go to bed, either write down or say out loud three things that you are grateful for.
--Holly Bertone, Pink Fortitude
Besides its social and physical benefits, practicing gratitude makes one sleep faster and better at night. A recent study in 2011 showed that gratitude improves one’s sleep patterns which helps improves one’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Practicing gratitude improves our health and makes us better people for ourselves and for others.
--Liz Brown, Sleeping Lucid
Gratitude is a spiritual discipline. Being grateful is the key to success. When you are grateful for what you have you feel contentment.
Gratitude is often misunderstood. We are only grateful when we are given something or achieve something. It should be even in pain.
In pain, it provides hope that the God/Universe/Superpower will ultimately redeem every horrible situation.
I have tried this many times in my life. The more I was grateful the more I was rewarded.
The universe always gives you more of those things that you are grateful for. It prevents you from being greedy and hence saves you from disaster.
Some of the proven benefits of gratitude are: improves psychological health, improves self-esteem, and provides mental strength.
We are a new generation and need something concrete to believe. You will start being grateful if you read the next few paragraphs because these all benefits are scientifically proven.
Gratitude helps you stay happier, reduces stress, increases positivity, makes you feel better about yourself and this eventually improves your emotional life.
It helps to sleep better, boost the metabolism and immune system. I addition to that your social life also improves due to your contended life and grateful nature.
Moreover, it helps increase your productivity and makes you more creative. Though you work for someone or yourself.
--Fahim Lashkaria, downtworrybehappy.co
Gratitude makes us appreciate the things that we do have, instead of focusing on what we lack. It reminds us that our lives are better than we think. It helps us understand that we should not complain because we are truly blessed with a lot.
When we experience and demonstrate gratitude towards other people, the benefits amplify. Doing this can help put the other person in a good mood too, as they see you happy and fulfilled. It will also make them pleased to know that they are appreciated, and they will consequently be motivated to continue their efforts.
In these ways, gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving. It can put you in a good mood and keep you there. Furthermore, it will make those around you happier too, and the positive energy will, therefore, last even longer. As everyone has that feel-good energy, they will want to do nice things for each other, making for more things to be grateful for.
--Stacie May, Lucky Watcher
Gratitude is a daily practice for me. Every morning after a short meditation, I sit and write five things that I’m grateful for from the day before. I find that when life is going well, this is an extra bit of a celebration, and when life is challenging, as things are right now globally, it gives me perspective and reminds me that there are still good things in lifed.
For most of us, our lives are filled with things to be grateful, for but are easy to forget, considering our mind tends to focus on the negative. Some studies actually suggest that practicing gratitude even for as short as a 21 day period can turn pessimists into optimists.
I feel that my gratitude practice has made me a better partner, a more calm person, and have a more positive outlook on life.
--Trish Tutton, trishtutton.com
Almost 4 years ago, my stepdad died in a house fire. One minute he was there, the next he was gone. Not only him, but everything he owned apart from a few clothes that had been though the washing machine at my mom's house. They were sat there in a tote bag, ironed and folded, ready for him to take away as if nothing had ever happened.
From that day, everything changed. I watched the news differently, I looked at my family and my friends with new eyes. My possessions became less important to me. I vowed to myself that I would not take those I love for granted anymore. I would take moments of joy and I would pour them into a bottle so I could take them out and inhale them when I needed them again.
I fell into a deep depression which made all of the above hard to do. in times of real lows, it took all I had to get out of bed. Throughout that time however, those I loved never left me. While everyday is a battle, I find something in everyday to be grateful for and honesty, this has kept me going through some of the hardest times. If you have nothing to be grateful for, what is the purpose of living?
Gratitude is importance in life because it reminds us of what we have, what we don't need and what we stand to lose. knowing this brings a sense of perspective to life and makes me feel lucky to have things and people in my life that make me grateful to be alive.
I am grateful to be loved and I love to be grateful.
--Stephanie Wright, blogtheblues.com
Dr. Robert Holden, a British psychologist, has said that “The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.”
What more important time in our life that we need a shift in preception then when we are experiencing a loss? (Which many of us are encountering now during the the Coronavirus pandemic?)
After we go through loss, we tend to focus on what we no longer have. As a result we focus our energy on the negative, or what is missing in our life, rather than on the positive, or all of those things we still have. We usually don’t think about giving thanks during times of loss, yet gratitude can be one of the most healing tools we have.
Turning your attention on how your life was enriched because of what your are going through, for example, rather than on the vacuum the loss created, can be one powerful and healthy approach to confronting grief.
After my wife died at the age of thirty-four, my thoughts, as often experienced by someone who is grieving, sometimes turned to darker questions like, “How can I go on with my life without her?” Grief also brought up a feeling of emptiness, depression, and hopelessness. Once I started to be thankful for all that remained in my life—my daughter, my friends, my work, etc.—I got a glimpse of why I could go on living and, in fact, fully enjoy life again.
Gratitude has the power to help those grieving rise above their loss. It is life affirming. It can provide hope. And, perhaps most important, it can help us let go of the past and focus on the abundance that surrounds us now.
--Allen Klein, allenklein.com
Why is gratitude important in life?: Research has shown that expressing gratitude can improve overall happiness and well-being. It’s no secret that practicing gratitude feels good, but what’s happening in our brains? Neurochemicals are released such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin which bolster feelings of connection and happiness. In addition to arguments backed by science, there are also simple explanations that can be seen in everyday life. Think about the difference in how you feel after expressing gratitude versus anger. Gratitude has a positive connotation and anger a negative one, so it’s inevitable how these emotions creep into the rest of your day. Practicing gratitude will lead to favorable outcomes for you and those around you. Not only does expressing gratitude make you feel good, but it often bolsters generous behavior and strengthens your connections with other people. Practicing gratitude is important to live a happy life!
--Lisa Lovelace, Synergy eTherapy
Gratitude is quite essential in life, as it makes you feel good about goodness. For example, when you are in the darkest phase of your life, and someone comes to helps you in that dark period, then it's when you see a positive bright light at the end of the tunnel. That light brings hope and ignites positive emotions in your life.
The real-life example of gratitude can be found in the presence of celebrity Shia Labeouf who was having an emotional breakdown due to his adverse childhood experience and abusive father. But his best Zack Gottsegen was there for him. Though Zack's help, Shia, came out from the dark period, he became sober in life and enjoyed his career success. His father was an anchor of his life who couldn't let him move forward in his life, but best friends like Zack were a real Masiah, who helped him, Shia, to Soar higher and higher. Shia couldn't thank more his friend who brought him back to a life he always deserved but didn't have from his childhood.
Stories like those make you believe in goodness and see the positive light. You understand the importance of bonding with the right people who care about you. You don't say thanks not only from your mouth but also from your heart.
--Catherine Nichol, 10BabyThings.com
Gratitude: Katie, research has proven that gratitude instantly changes brain chemistry for the better. This would be reason enough to practice gratitude. I love the quote from The Science of Getting Rich, (by Wallace Wattles) which is: Gratitude unifies the mind of man with the intelligence of Substance (Source/God) so that man's thoughts are received by the Formless (God). This is the integral part of why the Law of Attraction works. What we think about we bring about. Thoughts are things. Thoughts become things. This is physics. Everything is energy. Everything has a vibration and frequency, including thoughts and feelings. Positive thoughts and feelings of gratitude brings in more things to be grateful for.
I have found that giving thanks for what we want to manifest, causes manifestation. We are taught to ask God for what we want, believing that if we deserving, then we will get it. This is wrong. We are always deserving. Just by giving thanks for what we want, feeling grateful for what we want as if we already have it, causes us to manifest it. I have found that the only time it doesn't seem to work is when our thoughts and our feelings are not in alignment.
I do my gratitude list as I am falling asleep and as soon as I wake up. It has caused tremendous benefits to me, both physically and health-wise, in relationships and with finances. I also find quiet times during the day to go into gratitude. Anytime I start getting worried, I go into gratitude. It just works.
--Terri Jay, TerriJay.com
I may not be a psychologist but I can tell you how gratitude has helped me in my business. I read a few years ago that studies had shown that people had an easier time making friends and forming lasting relationships when they showed gratitude. Shocking right?
Well, I decided that, if it helps people form lasting relationships in their personal lives, there's no reason it can't work in the business. I mean The Art of War wasn't written for business and it's been helpful. I started actively making sure I showed gratitude whenever I could. I graciously thanked the serving staff when I was on a business lunch. I was appreciative whenever someone accomplished a task I'd set for them.
The great thing is that, even if I saw no business improvement, I started feeling better about myself. I considered how it made those people I was thanking feel and that made me feel better. And, I noticed as I was being more gracious, those I was with were more gracious as well.
Oh, and it did help in the business. I've had more positive results out of business meetings than I had previously. So, all in all, there's really no downside to showing some gratitude in life.
--Shayne Sherman, TechLoris
The Antithesis to FOMO: As an ambitious individual who has worked from home for about a decade and has devoted herself to building a great lifestyle for herself and her family, I’ve found that there is simply too much for a single person to do and a single person to experience, and the practice of gratitude has helped me come to terms with that, making me realize I have so much. I don’t feel as strong of a need to travel (an important thing in these times) and neither do I need as many things. And while I don’t think my spending habits have changed, I do spend less time browsing online or wishing for things I won’t remember years down the line. I don’t feel the fear of missing out when I’m on social media anymore. Gratitude won’t change the course of your life, or at least it didn’t in my case. But it will make you better understand your life as it is and accept (happily) your life as it is. You will never stop wanting if you start, but feeling truly grateful for what you have and who you are is amazing, and a feeling you can only make for yourself.
--Laura Fuentes, Infinity Dish
I have been actively practicing gratitude since the summer of 2015 and I have found that being grateful on a regular basis has a profound effect on how we feel about almost everything.
To begin with gratitude should be a personal spiritual practice and, in that sense, also private. Just practice gratitude and the rest will fall into place.
Gratitude is saying thank you to all life and to the universe in general. You are not asking for anything. You are saying thank you for all the things that are essential in a good human life and, yes, you can also be grateful for negative events as they lead you to understand new things and new ways of looking at things. From a positive, accepting attitude. Gratitude is saying thank you for our health and our existence, an affirmation of all that is natural and good.
I practice gratitude twice a day: 1. In the afternoon when I fall asleep for my siesta or nap (something I have been doing for 50 years now). 2. At night before falling asleep.
I basically breath in with Thank and exhale with You and I don't usually say the words. I voice them in my heart and mind. I do this for about 2-3 minutes during each session.
In the last 5 years, I have experienced remarkable improvements in my overall moods and also, and especially, a huge decrease in ego and self pity and expectation. I accept failures much more easily and I am grateful for all my failures. Gratitude has made my life fuller and smoother in all ways . . .
The current research on gratitude by doctors of the mind and body, psychiatrists and other professionals is clear and overlapping. And trail-blazing neuroscientists, psychologists, cardiologists, and educators have all shown that practicing gratitude has positive effects on happiness levels and happiness levels that last longer, romantic relationships, health and brain functions. Gratitude has also been proven to reduce the symptoms of disease, improve self-awareness and community-mindedness, and to some extent increase academic performance. Gratitude has been shown to blocks toxic, negative emotions, to help us be much more in the now (as opposed to the past or the future), to reduce stress in all ways, have a higher sense of self worth,
Leading figures and institutions in the gratitude research and practice field include:
-Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., the world's leading expert on gratitude (https://www.amazon.com/Thanks-Science-Gratitude-Make-Happier/dp/0618620192)
-The Harvard Medical School (https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier),
-Janice Kaplan (The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life): this book draws on all major research by professionals in this field.
And now, after practicing gratitude for nearly 5 years, I feel that I am also more in tune with the people around me and more compassionate overall. And I sleep much better and I have much fewer toxic emotional reactions . . .
It is not a difficult thing to practice. But practice does make perfect and all newcomers to the idea of practicing gratitude need to be patient and persistent for the good effects to become our new personal foundation for the simplest spiritual life of all.
--Ian Martin Ropke, Your Japan Private Tours
People laugh when I tell them I go for a morning walk. “What, no dog?” is the usual question I get. That’s right, I take myself for a walk every day. What I do on that walk sets me up for my day and it focuses on my being grateful for everything I have.
Nearly twenty years ago I was running a factory and things weren’t going well. It didn’t matter what I did, performance sucked. My strategy was to progressively get up earlier and go to the factory earlier and earlier. Over a period of months I found myself getting up around 5:00am when I didn’t need to get up until about 6:30am. Where would this strategy end? 4:00am? 1:00am?
Clearly whatever I was doing wasn’t working, so I decided to keep getting up at the same time and go for a walk instead. I don’t know why and I didn’t have a plan when I started, I just liked going for a walk when the world was (largely) sleepy and things were quiet. My walk became a relaxing habit; I felt as though I was in charge of my day by choosing how it started.
A few weeks passed and I heard a recording of a World War Two hero speaking about how people weren’t grateful for what they had in their lives. He argued that if they were, there would be less friction and griping in the world. He continued to say that in his experience grateful people were more productive and achieved a lot more. The person talking had set up one of America’s biggest and most iconic businesses. His squadron transporter had been shot down during World War Two and thankfully no one had died. Everyone went on to lead remarkable lives and each one of them was grateful to be alive and for what they had in their lives.
I thought I’d give this a go. What was I grateful for? During my walk I came up with a list and everyday I still take stock of my list. When I do this I feel that I am resetting myself and putting my day into context. When something ‘bad’ happens during the day I have context for it; it takes quite a lot to rattle me. This is why I think it is important to practice gratitude; to keep yourself centred on what really matters in life. Decisions are easier to make and it is hard to have a bad day.
How has it made my life better? For starters, I got the factory turned around. We became the most productive and most profitable business in our sector without breaking a sweat. My career propelled without seeming to try too hard. Everyone knows me as a ‘happy chappie’ and I have a great family life. Crises come and go, like everyone else, but I have an unshakeable context. As I said earlier, it has to be something truly awful to rattle me, otherwise I take things in my stride.
Being conscious of what you are grateful for is an undervalued strategy in most of our rich countries – don’t overlook it and then go do something amazing!
--Giles Johnston, smartspeed.co.uk
Being grateful is an active state of mind; it is a practice with a purpose. It is a perspective that, when achieved, brings clarity, peace of mind and opens the soul up to infinite possibilities. It sounds so easy. It is not. The vast majority of us are so overwhelmed, stressed out and preoccupied by daily life, that the simplicity of taking a quiet moment to reset our gratitude barometers eludes us.
So, we must make the effort to reprogram ourselves to get back to that all-important place that our minds, bodies and souls naturally yearn to be. My suggestion is to find the best time each day when you can create an environment for yourself with the fewest distractions and interruptions. A time when you can tune in to your own mental state and focus on calming your energy down. For me, it is in the early morning, before starting my day. When you are in that place, ask yourself what the things are that you are most grateful for. There is no right or wrong answer to that question, and the answer is different for everyone. Then focus on an active feeling of being thankful for those things. The more you practice, the easier it will become. Soon, being grateful becomes a way of life, a state of being. Gratitude will exist in all you do and experience. Yes, even in the occurrences that, on the surface, may seem negative or unwanted, you will find a way to discover the silver lining (as the saying goes). You will become a much more positive person overall, be able to cope with stress much better and be calmer in general. A much better state of mind to be in to make the most out of your day and create the kind of life you want to live. Remember, the kind of energy you send out is usually the kind that comes back to you in return.
--Gilda Evans, gildaevans.com
As someone who works alongside health practitioners on a daily basis, I see how important it is for everyone -- especially those in a position helping others -- to stay resilient and mentally strong. After just ten minutes of writing down what I'm thankful for, I can feel stress and anxiety melt away, and my appreciation deepen for the good things in my life. Health coaches tell me that a daily gratitude practice helps them show up for their clients in ways they otherwise couldn't.
--Rebecca McCusker, Meal Garden
Although the office might not be the first space that comes to mind when hearing the term “gratitude,” incorporating it amidst our professional exchanges can enhance connections that are essential for business growth.
Commentary concerning the importance of practicing gratitude—specifically in the workplace—has become popularized over the past few years. You may have encountered articles about it in Forbes and Entrepreneur, or seen posts discussing it while scrolling through your LinkedIn feed.
Why? Because the beneficial effects of practicing gratitude are scientifically proven. According to a study published by Harvard Medical School in praise of expressing appreciation, there is a science behind gratitude. When it’s displayed and communicated, people begin to:
1) Feel more valued
2) Strengthen connections
3) Develop personal loyalty
These gratitude outcomes combine to build feelings of reciprocity. When gratitude is practiced in business environments, this same concept of reciprocity comes back around in the form of greater business opportunities.
--Brendan Kamm, Thnks
I'm a trader, I day trade stocks as well as Forex and Bitcoin and I can tell you that it's not nearly as easy as people would like you to believe. It takes a lot of dedication, and a lot of study and a ton of self-control to just break even, never mind make a good profit. What I can also tell you is that gratitude is one of the most important parts of my mental preparation before I enter the markets. If you don't express gratitude, and really reach down and feel gratitude about the big and small things that are going right, then you are lost. But, just taking a few minutes before starting your day, and just reviewing in your mind all the things that you are grateful for, makes a huge difference, I've experienced that it makes me stronger emotionally, I can bounce back from a loss and perform at my peak.It's so simple, and yet makes such a profound difference.
--Sam Schout, Easy Trading Signals
As an integrative health coach, I motivate and support people to change their habits to improve their health and wellbeing. It is key to understand and integrate that food is not just what we eat but what nourish us as human beings. And mindset is key when it comes to changing our habits. We don’t chose our mindset consciously, but we can purposely decide to change it. You can train your brain to be more optimistic, and gratitude is definitely one of my favorite tools.
I would lie if I told you I practice gratitude every single day of my life, but I try to do it 3-4 times a week, because its benefits come with a consistent practice. It mostly helps me avoid too much stress and emotional tension. It reminds me how important it is to focus on what I have rather than on what I don’t have.
When I do it first thing in the morning, I tend to be more calm and mindful during the whole day. And when I do it before going to bed, I see a big improvement both in the quality of my sleep and my mood next morning.
--Ramon Zelada, ramonzelada.com
We’re often told to focus on gratitude to have a happier life. I’m all for that, but the normal, usual ways just don’t work for me. For example, journaling about gratitude just ends up with me writing the same entries day after day because what I’m grateful for day in day out just doesn’t change that much.
One day, I realized I could be grateful any way I wanted. I immediately burst into song with “I love my life, oh I lov-a my life. It's a wonderful life. Yeah! Yeah! I love my life. Yeah! I love my life. Yeah! I love my life. Oh, I love my life!
Now, I sing my gratitude. It doesn’t matter to me that I might be off-key or my song is cheesy. It’s my gratitude and my song. It’s also a wonderful way to experience and magnify the gratitude in my life.
Like me, you may need to find your own unique way to focus on gratitude. Maybe it’s not a cheesy song. Whatever it is though, make sure you feel the gratitude pour out of you in waves as you do it. That way you magnify the gratitude in your life and bask in happiness.
--Lisa Hays, NaturallyHappyHealthyMe.com
Three years ago my cousin invited me to join a ‘Three Months of Gratitude’ Whatsapp Group. There were six people (from a variety of countries) in the group and each member had to commit to posting one thing they were grateful for per day. I was reluctant at first, as I believed that it would just be another stress in my day, but I accepted the invite rather than hurt my favourite cousin’s feelings. For the first two months I resented having to think of something different every day and couldn’t wait for the three months to be over.
Then something changed, I began to look forward to writing my post and I started noticing more and more things that I could comment on. At the end of the three months the group agreed to continue for a year – changing our name to ‘365 days of Gratitude’. Again, as that time period came to an end, we agreed that we loved our group and have now taken away the end date.
Every morning the first thing I do is check what gratitudes have been posted through the night. As I wonder through my day, no matter what happens to me, in the back of my mind I am thinking – what can I be grateful for here. Every night I settle into bed and write my post for the day, carefully picking through all my choices to find the one that best represents how I feel.
Our group turned 3 this month and I have grown to love the remarkable women whose lives I get a glimpse of every day. Even more, I have changed the way that I view my own life. No matter how difficult our lives are, there is always something that we can be grateful for. I am grateful for the security guard at work who always greets me with a smile, the check-out person at Woolworths who carefully packs my groceries, the gluten-free cereal that my celiac daughter adores, hugs from my youngest, coffee brought with a smile by my husband, my mother’s unwavering support of me. The list is literally endless.
In a world where we are trained to focus on what we don’t have, gratitude allows us to celebrate what we do have. As the author Zig Ziglar once said ‘Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.
So, after 3 years I can finally say to my wonderful cousin – Thank you for our group, I am eternally grateful.
--Terry Matthew, Mentone Grammar
Having an attitude of gratitude is a strong and reliable way to keep us in a happier and more positive frame of mind. Thinking about how bad things are only keeps us down and discouraged. What is actually happening, of course, is only rarely changed, either way; but at the end of the day if we have been consciously thinking of the things we are thankful for, we feel better about it all. Happiness is only rarely about our situation and circumstances, it is much more often about how we think about it. Many people keep in mind a list of things that they are grateful for: a family member whose smile is so infectious, a kind word and a smile from a friend, a really cute cat, or a refreshing walk. When things are getting them down, they consciously switch their thinking to one of the things they are grateful for, lifting their mood. Others make a written log of three things that went well, or that they are thankful for just before going to bed. Then, they think about how these good things came about as they go to sleep. Somehow, their brain uses those positive thoughts while they sleep. In the morning they feel better. It is uncanny. Everybody gets different benefits from a variety of gratitude practices, of course. Try some that you know about, read about new ideas to try, and experiment. Learning what works for you will often be a lift all by itself. And talking about it all with a friend is often uplifting and helpful too.
According to positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly associated with increased happiness. Those who choose to feel and express gratitude enjoy improved health, stronger relationships, and more stable moods. With practice and the right support, people of all abilities can benefit from setting aside time to learn about gratitude by reading or watching educational information, completing a gratitude meditation, or simply making a list of things to be grateful for.
--Amy Pinder, MA, CCC-SLP, Circles of Communication