How will gratitude improve your life?
Today in part three of our seven part series on gratitude, we’re going to talk about how gratitude can improve your life. We’ve touched on a few ways, but I want to show that its not just me saying these things; scientists say them too!
Gratitude is about more than just making sure you say thank you when someone holds the door. As Americans, we almost always do that without a second thought; its a basic manner instilled in us a young age. That thank you is nearly thankless, even if its accompanied with a smile. Often, gratitude is cultivated not just when others do for us, but when we can do for others. When we hold the door open, and we hear that thank you, a warmth spreads through our bodies because we helped someone, or made this one moment easier for them. It feels like happiness. And it didn’t cost us anything to do it.
A study found those who kept a daily gratitude journal exercised more. Can you imagine being able to find more energy, and stamina just because you took five minutes that morning to yourself? The study also found that people slept better, and spent less time trying to go to sleep. I don’t know about you, but sometimes getting to sleep is the hardest part of my day, but I know that my mind is more settled if I take that time to remember the things I’m grateful for in the moment.
Improves relationships with coworkers and output:
study found that acknowledging a job well done encouraged workers to do more. Workers who got a pep talk before making calls made 50% more calls than the ones who didn’t. It almost seems silly to say, “Well these people got a pep talk, so they did better!” because that just kind of makes sense, right? If you’re nice to people, people want to be nice in return. Its that cycle of paying it forward because your immediate life has been positively affected.
Improves relationships with family:
people who acknowledged their spouses good deeds were less stressed and found more enjoyment from their relationship. Consequently it made wanting to do those things easier. People notice when you’re nice to them. It’s easier to be nicer to your husband when you’re already in a good mood. And if he notices, maybe he’ll subconsciously mirror that for you. The study also mentioned that spouses who kept gratitude journals were more likely to talk about issues they had in the relationship.
It seems like gratitude can make a huge difference in so many places in our lives. It’s crazy how we spend so much time learning to be polite, but forgetting the mindful appreciation that saying thank you should entail. When you say thank you with mindful appreciation, your light, like the patronus, shines.
Maybe the practice of gratitude won’t change your husband, and your marriage will fail.
Sometimes there is nothing else to do but to move on. That is where the practice of gratitude will come in though. As long as you have a cultivated safe space, your journey through the muck will be a protected one. You will overcome tragedy easier and faster.
I keep talking about getting through the hard times, and I think its because we’ve all had hard times. They’ve come, and they’ve gone, and they’re going to come again. And we want to be prepared. The practice of gratitude will help.
But lets not forget those stretches in life where everything is going right, and your happiness shines like the sun at everyone who crosses your path. When your light is shining bright through your safe space of cultivated gratitude, you attract those who need a little bit of light to be shone on them. Revel in your joy. And share it whenever you can.
Part four of this seven part series is going to focus on how you can use gratitude to change other people’s lives. If you want updates about this gratitude series and other awesome stuff, please join my email list.