It’s that time of year that everyone is thankful for a 3 day work week. Some are also thankful for mouth-watering turkey and stuffing and delicious gravy with sweet potatoes and homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream… thank you thank you baby jesus for all of these things. BUT there are so many incredible benefits to infusing more gratitude into your everyday life, and not just when you’re stuffing your face at thanksgiving.
What an Attitude of Gratitude can bring into your life:
>Better Sleep: According to a study in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being researchers found that when people spent 15 minutes jotting down what they’re grateful for in a journal before bedtime, they fell asleep faster and stayed asleep longer, Psychology Today reported.
>Better Relationships: Being thankful for the little things your partner does could make your relationship stronger, according to a study in the journal Personal Relationships. Journaling about the thoughtful things your partner does helps you to shift focus on the good and therefore treat your partner more lovingly.
>Building Connections: Thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship with you. So whether you thank a stranger for holding the door, or you send a quick thank-you note to a co-worker who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities.
>Healthier Mind: Gratitude has the power to reduce toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
> Improves Self-Esteem: Studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs – which is a major factor in reduced self-esteem; grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments – a key trait of successful people.
How to Practice Gratitude Every Day:
>Download the gratitude journal app for your phone that will help you to note all the the things that pop up in your life that you’re grateful for. Get into the habit of throwing something in every morning and every evening before bed.
>If you find yourself focusing on the negative aspects of a person or a situation, force yourself to find the positive in it or them. You have to work late before the holiday? Think of how much work you’ll get done with fewer people distracting you.
>Start getting into the habit of giving at least one compliment a day. Enjoy the feeling that comes with making someone else feel good about your appreciation.
>When you find yourself in a difficult situation, ask yourself “what can I learn here?”
>When you catch up with friends, focus the conversations on celebrating accomplishments and the good in your lives instead of bitching about things that are going wrong. Fill them in on the crappy things that may be happening, but try to find a spin for why it’s something that will ultimately be good for you.
>Having a rough day – Focus on something that you’re looking forward to and feel grateful for it.
>Volunteer at a charity that you believe in and that helps you to be grateful for all that you have in the world that others lack.
It’s easy to focus on the struggles and the things that are going wrong in our lives, but this small shift in thinking can result in huge change. My man Tony Robbins once said something that has always stayed with me – “you can’t be grateful and fearful at the same time.” Learn to infuse appreciation more into your life and the positive things that you focus on are guaranteed to grow.