With the impending holidays “gratitude” is a popular word often associated with Thanksgiving, but the act of being thankful is a practice that we can implement every day of the year.
Consider that the ordinary elements of our lives are something to be grateful for, our health, shelter, food, family and loved ones we care about and who care about us. It’s these things that we generally take for granted that we should remind ourselves to appreciate.
Gratitude isn’t just an outward expression, but also has wonderous effects on our bodies, minds, and souls. Simply put, gratitude increases happiness. Those who live their lives with gratitude in their heart and actions are aware of “what’s good in their lives” which often pays dividends, not just in personal happiness but success as well.
How can the act of gratitude improve your life and success?
Physical and Mental Wellbeing
- Science is catching up with what many people all over the world have known for generations. Gratitude and a positive attitude are good for the body and mind.
- Recent studies from the University of California have suggested that being thankful can lower anxiety and depression, improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and emotional responses to stress, decrease anger, and increase sleep quality.
- Physical and mental health as well as the ability to effectively manage stress and
avoid illness are important elements in improving performance, which can ultimately lead to success in maintaining a healthy work, life balance.
Gratitude Improves Relationships
- One of the easiest acts of gratitude is being vocal, tell your friends, coworkers, and family members that you appreciate them.
- The strength of our relationships can enhance or diminish our personal and professional growth. We inherently desire positive connections, so speaking your gratitude attracts others to your energy.
- Simply saying “thank you” acknowledges someone’s time, effort and kindness, as well as enhancing the person’s very being.
- We all get that “warm and fuzzy” feeling from being recognized for our actions. Pay that forward by showing your gratitude and recognition to others.
Attaining a Joyful Life through Gratitude
- Positive self-affirmations, journaling, goals, and vision boards are a few simple ways to express gratitude.
- Being kind and appreciating yourself first will translate into being kind and thankful to others around you.
- Focusing on what is good in your life and choose gratitude over finding fault in yourself and others.
- Negative thoughts and actions can shift the course of your success.
- Use affirmations to your advantage and pursue your passions with appreciation and gratitude.
- Start by writing down several qualities that you have for yourself and practice self-gratitude – things like “I am kind”, “I am strong”, “I am punctual”.
- Even if these things seem trivial to you, we should remind ourselves regularly of the good in our lives. Those things, whether we realize it or not, affect those around us in a positive way. Even something like being punctual means you’re considerate of others time.
- It may seem corny but, put your written affirmations in places that you see regularly, like your wallet, the coffee maker, the front door, or your car
dashboard so you’re regularly reminded of your own positive qualities.
- Gratitude that begins with yourself will naturally overflow into those around you, but it’s a muscle we need to exercise and build into a habit. They say if you do something new for 30 days it then becomes a habit.
So, while we are all trying to improve habits like eating healthier, exercise regularly, save money, and meet all of our deadlines, don’t forget to include daily gratitude.
By: Sheila Haynes, CPC – Coding and Compliance Manager