What is being grateful? It is the action of taking a small moment in life to give thanks. When was the last time you stopped and were truly thankful for something? It may have been the time you were almost in an accident and said to yourself “Thank God”. Why should we wait for a life changing event to be grateful for the things in life that bring us joy? The truth is we should be grateful and express gratitude on a daily basis.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all the others. – Cicero
You can be grateful for just about anything in life. From the small simple pleasure of having sunny-side up eggs for breakfast to the big promotion, you received at work, being grateful brings a feel good state of mind and all it takes is a breath of a moment. So let’s dive into why it pays!
Want to become a happier version of yourself? Well, a 2014 study “Forgiveness, Gratitude,& Happiness among college students” correlates happiness and gratitude quite convincingly. What better test subjects than college students? With student loans, nonstop exams and a lack of funds, there is not much to be happy for! The study goes on to illustrate college students who expressed more gratitude are happier than those who do not. Grateful people tend to live with more satisfaction and optimism. They are also more open to helping others. Happiness easy as 1-2-3.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow”
In “Counting Blessing’s Versus Burdens: An experimental investigation on gratitude and subjective well-being for daily life”, researchers show that gratitude pays off in the long run. Simply by counting one’s blessings over counting one’s hassles in life, participants in the study were found to have a more positive well-being. People who counted their blessings intentionally were found to have fewer physical illnesses. Furthermore, they were recorded as spending 1.5 hours more per week exercising, further increasing their well-being. Think of it as a domino effect. All it takes is one act, a simple thank you, for the reaction to start. You want to get yourself to workout more and to have fewer doctor visits? Start the chain & be grateful!
Count your blessings
“Wonderful parents”, “My good health”, “My loving wife”
Not your hassles
“Laundry what a pain!”, “Traffic really!?”, “Dishes again!”
In the journal article of personality and social psychology, “A little thanks goes a long way”, studies show that expressing gratitude motivates prosocial behavior. Now you may be wondering what in the world is prosocial behavior? Remember when you lost your pen and had to borrow one from a friend? Luckily you said the coined phrase, “Thank You”. Just by doing so, your friend now will more likely let you borrow a pen the next time you forget! By giving them validation of their actions, you motivate them to help you more down the road. Now, do you get why your parents always told you to say please and thank you? Gratefulness. Mind Blown.
You too can experience a better & happier positive version of yourself through gratitude. For only 19.99 seconds a day, be happier, live longer and be a better you! Start today! Here’s a special offer down below on how you can get started!
Here are some ways that you can practice gratitude.
Prayer. Across all religions, gratitude is a cornerstone of faith. In Islam, during the month of Ramadan, fasting is thought to lead to a state of gratitude. In Christianity, there are numerous verses attributed to gratitude. “First Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
In the little moments that aggravate you. Instead of yelling at the traffic you can think “I’m grateful my car runs well” It starts with the thought. It may take awhile to get used to but the next time you catch yourself cursing the road try practicing gratitude instead.
Thank you notes. Once I had this week-long class on new instrumentation for my job. The instructor was very delightful. She was kind of person you wish you were around every day. Cheery and upbeat, but nothing too over the top. On my last day I recalled her saying that what her favorite chocolate bars were, so I left her a little thank you note along with her favorite candies. I still remember the positivity to this day. Fast forward a few months later I received a thank you note from her!
Make it a routine. A Habit. Just before bed recite three things you are grateful for. For example, it can be as serious as My loving wife, My good health, My loving family and friends. Or it can be silly as sprinkles on ice cream, hot showers, and yes toilet paper. ( Oh what I would have to do without you TP! )
Be mindful. The next time someone does anything for you, thank them. The cashier who takes your order. The customer service representative who helps you with your problem. Your boss for listening to you vent. All it takes is two words. “Thank you”.
“A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things” – Plato
So I gave you the why and the how. Now there is no excuse, get out there and start practicing gratitude today!
Special thanks to my mother, without her, I would not be the person I am today. Here’s to you mom!