Science is producing mounting research that our lives are much better when we practice gratitude. Why? Simply because it makes our daily life better, even for those who don’t consider themselves religious or spiritual. Gratitude is just the feeling of being thankful and showing appreciation for what is in our lives.
I know for a fact that being grateful actually boosts my mood. I make more money and am genuinely happier every single day that I start my day with gratitude. We all have bad days, and we all have various curveballs thrown at us daily (I know I do!), but what we have to realize is that we have everything we need and we’re going to be okay. It’s hard to not let the stressors of the world, economy, and everyday life not bother us. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human! However, managing those emotions by replacing them with feelings of gratitude is much more beneficial for overall happiness, trust me! Or at least trust the science…lol.
So, what does it look like to practice gratitude daily? Here’s the 411 on how I do it, and how we’ll do it together over the next 30 days.
The first thing I did was purchase this gratitude tree from Target. It sits on my desk and every morning while I check my emails, I’ll do a leaf of a few things I am grateful for. I sit there for a second at my desk and sit in pure thankfulness while I put the leaves on. It’s been proven that the benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude, by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for, experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
I usually feel like my day is SET after this, and I am putting the best intentions out for that day. I often will also practice it throughout the day when things go in disarray to reset and reframe. I almost always am thankful for my little sidekick Baron.
Starting today, I encourage you join me on a 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. Every single day I want you to post on Twitter and/or Insta a photo or video of something that you’re grateful for, and tag me (add links to twitter mine and both IG pages) so I can share in your gratefulness journey with you and repost all these good things! Starting today September 8th through October 7th we’ll do this every single day. Let’s also get friends and family to join in! I’ll be posting the things I’m grateful for on all three of my social media personal pages.
Not sold quite yet? Here are 10 ways that practicing gratitude can, and will, change your life. I found all these online and I couldn’t agree more!
1. You Feel More Satisfied
Not completely happy with your life? Gratitude is a lasting feeling that sustains you longer than other fleeting sensations. Grateful people are more satisfied with their lives because they focus more on what they do appreciate in their life. When you practice gratitude, you take time to appreciate the things that you’re thankful for in your life. And this means that you won’t be longing as much for what’s missing in your life, because you won’t pay as much attention to it.
2. You Motivate Others
When you say “thank you” to someone, they feel that you appreciate what they did for you, even if just a little bit. Saying “thank you” is therefore a powerful motivator for others to keep helping you, because you are rewarding them with your appreciation. Have you ever noticed how it feels when someone doesn’t appreciate what you did for them? It makes you not want to help them again in the future because they don’t appreciate it. Small thank you’s go a long way, whether it’s a simple text message or a thoughtful email, you can never show someone enough gratitude!
3. You’re Happier
Grateful people are happier. They’re more in tune with what’s going well in their lives and focus more on the positive. When you actually count your blessings (I’m grateful for today’s beautiful weather, for my new shoes, for my close friends, etc) it puts you in a positive and uplifting mood.
4. You’re More Resilient
Throughout your life you’ll experience many setbacks and failures. So, having good coping skills is vital for us to have a thriving and successful life. If you still practice gratitude when life knocks you down, you can humbly appreciate the temporary defeat as a learning lesson. When you’re faced with challenges, you can thank God or the Universe for giving you an opportunity to practice your patience and strength. When you’re grateful, you focus more on the opportunities that failures give you, rather than the negative consequences.
5. You Deepen Your Social Ties
Gratitude has the power to deepen your social bonds and connections with others. When you live in a state of gratitude, you have better relationships with your peers. It also enhances your ability to form and nurture relationships, as your friends and family members experience the positive vibes of your appreciation for them and for life. Your energy changes when you’re grateful, and you go from being a “downer” to being a positive person. And this is very attractive to everyone else around and strengthens your relationships.
6. You Have Better Health
Gratitude has been linked to better physical health, as well as better sleep and reduced stress levels. You can live a much better life when you’re grateful because as you improve your relationship to the world, you feel better within your body. Grateful people take better care of themselves as they appreciate their health more.
7. You Increase Your Self-control
As David DeSteno, professor of psychology, says, “When you’re faced with a chal¬lenging temptation in the moment, rather than solely trying to exert willpower, simply stop¬ping and thinking of some¬thing you’re grateful for should enhance your ability to make a wiser decision.” As life coach Peter Lambert says, gratitude gives you more patience and makes you less selfish.
8. Your Relationships Improves
When you’re more grateful and generous to the people who you care most about, your relationships improve. Not only will they feel more appreciated by you, but when they feel more appreciated and cared for, they’ll reflect positive feelings back towards you. As opposed to taking each other for granted, when you truly appreciate your significant other, your relationship becomes more magical again.
9. You’re Less Materialistic
When you appreciate what you already have, you realize that a bigger house or a new car are not the things that will really make you happier deep down. In fact, material things can actually feel sort of empty and meaningless. But when you’re thankful that you have a roof over your head and plenty of food to eat — something not everyone around the world has — you won’t be as tied to physical things anymore.
10. You Enrich Your Children
Research has shown that when you encourage gratitude in children, it has some remarkable effects. It turns out that kids who are grateful are happier, experience less volatile emotions, and feel that life has more meaning to them.
Gratitude is an emotion that’s worth cultivating as it will make your life better. You can start simply, by thinking of five things in your day today that you’re grateful for. There’s no doubt that we all want to be happy, have good relationships, and good health. The only thing you need to do to create more of these good things in your life, is to cultivate the gratitude within you. So, let’s change our lives over the next 30 days! I’m confident we will.
Here are some helpful links and a few of my favorite journals to help you with this challenge. Try to keep it going after the 30 days!!