With the holidays quickly approaching and Thanksgiving being only a day away many people are thinking of what they’re most thankful for. I love the thankfulness, comradery and togetherness that this type of attitude brings.
But practicing gratitude should go far beyond just Thanksgiving. There are many other reasons why you should make this a daily habit. Here are four major benefits of living a life full of gratitude.
Practicing Gratitude Reduces Stress
When you think about it, it seems easy to make this correlation. The more you’re thankful for what you do have in your life, the less you stress about what you don’t have in your life.
According to this article from WebMD
“Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress”
The same article suggests that since grateful people are generally positive that they have stronger immune systems than those who don’t practice gratitude. Gratitude for less stress and better health!
Practicing Gratitude Can Help You Meet Your Financial Goals
I have often used gratitude as a practice to keep me from overspending but it works in many other ways.
Like everyone else, I occasionally get the urge to buy a bunch of stuff I don’t actually need. Since I have bigger financial goals that I’m trying to reach I use gratitude as a way to remind myself of all the great already in my life. You can do the same.
If you’re working toward a big financial goal but are tempted to veer of track make a list of all the things you are grateful for and remind yourself why you’re working so hard in the first place. When you focus on being happy about what you do have you have less room to think about what you don’t have.
Practicing Gratitude Stops Comparison
Comparison is the thief of joy. And in today’s world comparison is one of the easiest things to do.
Hop on Facebook and you’ll see a highlight reel of someone else’s life – all good and very little bad. Comparing your bad days to someone else’s good days is a surefire way to set yourself up for disappointment and even jealously.
Practicing gratitude will keep you focused on the good in your life and help you celebrate the good in others’ lives rather than envy it.
Practicing Gratitude Keeps the Most Important Things Center of Your Life
If you’re busy, stressed out or just too focused on things like work and money it can be easy to push the truly important things aside.
For me, family is always the most important but I’m not perfect and sometimes I let other, less important things take my time.
Practicing gratitude on a regular basis is a great way to make sure that the most important things in your life remain your focus.
How to Practice Gratitude on a Regular Basis
Ready to get your gratitude on and experience all the benefits? If so there are several ways you can start a gratitude practice. Here are a few ideas:
- Keep a Gratitude Journal – Buy a cheap journal and keep it by your bedside. Every night before you go to bed write down 3-5 specific things you were grateful for that day.
- Pray Each Morning – Every morning as soon as you wake up say a prayer of thankfulness for all the things that are going good in your life.
- Write Gratitude Letters – If there’s someone you’re especially feeling grateful for write them a letter expressing your gratitude.
- Write in Your Planner – If you’re a planner junkie like me write down a thankfulness note each day in your planner.
These are just a few ideas. Be sure to create a gratitude practice that works for your life. To get the most out of it make the routine consistent, be specific and combine multiple strategies if need be.
Starting a gratitude practice will take less than five minutes per day but can have amazing, lasting effects on your mind, body and spirit.
Do you have a gratitude practice?