The Benefits of Showing More Gratitude
It is the time of year when most people begin to reflect and turn their focus to the blessings in their lives. Showing more gratitude can have a positive impact when expressed not just now, but in every day and every circumstance. A note from Harvard Medical School states “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships”. Are you ready to let the benefits of showing more gratitude make a lasting impact? Then keep reading!
What are the Benefits of Showing More Gratitude?
Living a life full of gratitude changes our perspective and creates a more positive outlook. When you have a more positive outlook, your happiness increases. And with increased happiness, comes multiple benefits. These include improved sleep quality, overall health, self-esteem, resilience, and empathy.
Better Sleep Quality
All too often, my mind is cluttered with the things that didn’t get done that day, or worries and concerns I have as I prepare for sleep. If I continue to allow my mind to think on negative things, then sleep becomes elusive. I have found that if I do a brain dump by writing these things down before bed time, my mind is clearer and I fall asleep easier. If I take it a step further by writing down what I am grateful for from that day, my whole mindset changes, and I go to bed thinking about the good things in my life. Good thoughts lead to good sleep.
Improved Overall Health
There have been numerous studies that focus on how our mindset affects our health. This research shows that those who are more grateful tend to have less aches and pains, and are more likely to care for themselves with regular medical check ups. These studies also show that when people regularly take the time to write down the things they are most grateful for, it acts as a buffer against negative thoughts and emotions. The mind is a powerful tool. If we are intentionally focusing on good things, our bodies will follow with increased energy and an improvement in our overall health.
Increased Empathy and Self Esteem
When we allow negativity to rule our lives, we stay focused on our own problems and circumstances, leaving little room to see the needs of others. When we choose to be grateful instead, we can look outward and better empathize with those around us, extending help when needed. And when we concentrate on meeting the needs and encouraging others, our self-esteem will increase. Not only will you feel better about yourself, but you will also be spreading joy and gratitude to the hearts of those you help.
Unfortunately, we will all have to deal with tough circumstances from time to time. It is how we react to these situations that make all the difference. People that tend to be more grateful are able to withstand difficulties and recover quickly. Whereas those that have a more negative mindset may remain stuck in their problems far longer than necessary. When you feel stuck, you are unable to move forward with your life.
Things to Remember
Showing More Gratitude is a Choice
Your actions and reactions all come down to the choices you make. Will you choose to extend grace and love to others? Will you choose to be more mindful of those in need, and give your time and resources? Will you choose to react with patience and understanding? Will you choose to see the good in every situation? Will you choose to be grateful for your relationships and what you already have? Gratitude is a choice.
Showing More Gratitude Takes Practice
If we want gratitude to be our first response to life’s circumstances and to others, it’s going to take practice. We must remember that change is a process. Start making small changes every day, and eventually those changes will reflect in our thoughts, actions, and reactions. We won’t always get it right, but we can learn from our mistakes, extend grace and forgiveness to ourselves, and move forward knowing we can get it right next time.
Showing More Gratitude is an Attitude
If we want to practice more gratitude, there must be a change in our attitude. Negative thoughts and emotions can quickly overwhelm us. This negativity will then flow out through our reactions in anger, harsh words, or cause us to completely shut down and distance ourselves from those we love. We must capture the negative thoughts immediately, and work to replace them with a more positive outlook. I know when bad things happen, it can be impossible to change how we feel. But it is possible to change how we choose to react.
Gratitude is my theme for the next few weeks. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more thoughts and inspirational quotes about gratitude. You can also follow me on Pinterest for ways to express gratitude.
Stay tuned for next week’s post: 30 Ways to Show Gratitude Every Day
If you are ready to focus on showing more gratitude, not just for the Holiday Season but in every day, be sure to sign up for my FREE email challenge: 7 Days of Gratitude. Each day will include questions to answer and actionable steps to take that will start the process of lasting change in your attitude, perspective, and life. Bonus: A free printable workbook! The challenge will begin November 14th, so be sure to sign up below. Hope to see you there!
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