Be thankful, be grateful.
There are so many things to be grateful for each day, but many people don’t see those things. They see the struggles, the failures, the disappointments, and they let those negative things define their life, both in how they view it and how they live it. That’s the disadvantage of not seeing what there is to be grateful for. You get stuck looking through a negative lens, and life looks pretty ugly.
But, gratitude turns that negative life upside down. Living in a state of gratitude becomes a way of life, and you start to see life through a different lens, one that can really focus in on the beautiful things that life has to offer. In short, it can change your whole view on life, which can have a huge impact on it.
Following are the main benefits of gratitude. I have a feeling that you will find them too good to ignore, and you will create the intention to make gratitude a bigger part of your life in whatever way you can.
1. You Infect Other People
An attitude of gratitude is contagious. You can view it as a huge gift you have to give to everyone you come across. Why? When you are thankful for things, both big and small, you infect other people with your joy. Even the grumpiest people can be affected by your positivity, which means that gratitude is a great way to help others feel better about themselves and even you
The next time you are talking to someone who is complaining, try seeing if you can infect them with gratitude. For instance, if they are complaining about the rain, tell them that you are ecstatic it is raining because now you try out your new umbrella. Or, if you know them really well, use something that they will relate to. If they like gardening, tell them how thankful you are for the much needed rain, and watch as they rethink how they feel about the whole situation.
2. It Expands Your Awareness
One of the benefits of gratitude that everyone will appreciate is awareness. If you want to be more conscious of what is happening in your life, then practice gratitude. It helps you become more aware of what is happening around you and allows you to feel and perceive things deeper than when you are not appreciating what is happening.
Have you ever noticed that when you complain, you get stuck in your own mind? You focus on the things that suck, the people that suck, and how annoyed or frustrated you are with everything and everyone. You can’t see what is happening right in front of you because you are so stuck inside of your head. I have literally missed huge opportunities because I was stuck in a state of thanklessness, and only realized what was going on later when I was able to reflect on the situation.
Being aware helps you stay present and live every moment of your life. You don’t miss amazing moments, like a child’s laugh or the first leaf falling during the fall. You don’t become oblivious to opportunities that come your way for new relationships, more success, or more happiness. You are focused on finding things to be grateful for, so you are living in the moment and seeing it all. That’s a great way to live!
3. It Helps You Combat Stress
When you are grateful for the things in your life, including the unexpected things, you have less stress. The feeling of stress comes from feeling resistant to what is happening or talk to yourself in a negative way, both of which can be fought off with a high level of gratitude.
Financial problems, relationship issues, major life changes, inability to go with the flow, negative self-talk, and other external and internal issues all can cause stress. That stress can keep you stuck in a negative mindset that makes it hard to overcome the issues that you are having. But gratitude helps you beat the stress before it becomes too big.
For instance, one man I know lost his job when his company downsized, He was (and still is) a very optimistic man who practices gratitude daily in his life. At first, he was upset, which was understandable, but within a couple of days, he found things to be grateful for. He didn’t have to travel so far every day. He was free to pursue some of his hobbies. He was free to go after a better job and test out just how much more money he could make. And all of those things helped him move forward without stress to slow him down. He was so focused on the opportunities that he didn’t have time to get upset and make himself sick with stress. Within a month he had a better job that paid more, and it was closer to home.
I guess you can say that one of the benefits of gratitude is that it helps you stop sweating both the small and the big stuff. You are too busy appreciating the good things in your life, and you understand that even though bad things are going to happen, life always works out for the best in the end. That’s the mindset that helps beat the stress down.
4. It Helps You Deal With Negativity Better
Since gratitude benefits awareness, it also benefits your ability to deal with negativity. When you are more aware of why someone is upset or rude or offensive, then you have more power to deal with them rationally. When you lose that awareness, and get caught up in being defensive, things can get really ugly!
This does take practice. Therefore, it’s not one of the instant benefits of gratitude. But, it is one of the most important! As you move along, and become aware of why things make you upset, sad, or angry, and how those states are simply because you have refocused from being grateful to being ungrateful, you can clearly see it in other people too. You will understand that upset, rude, and offensive people are stuck looking at life through a negative focus that makes them act out negatively. If they were experiencing gratitude, and felt good about their life, they would never act the way they do.
5. It Increases Your Confidence
Being grateful, and knowing more about yourself, what you like, what you appreciate, and how lucky you are, gives you a sense of confidence that can’t come without gratitude.
You become confident that things are working for you, not against you. You can see that all things, even the failures and obstacles in life, have a meaning.
You become confident in your ability to get what you need out of life, because you can clearly see that your needs are always met. Gratitude has a way of showing you that things are working out in your favor.
You become confident that you can interact with other people in a way that benefits you. Read the next point to see why gratitude is so beneficial to all of your relationships.
Again, this is one of the benefits of gratitude that may take a little longer than a day to appear, but once it does, you will never lose that confidence that you gain.
6. It Strengthens Your Relationships With Others
Feeling gratitude towards your relationships can transform them from decent to amazing. The more grateful you are for your relationships, the more you see why they are so beneficial to your life.
In addition, you put more effort into maintaining your relationships because you see how important they actually are in your life. The little things you do to show how grateful you are for someone will open up many doors in your relationship.
If you are not feeling so grateful about someone right now, shift the way you are viewing them. Even the grumpiest friend or family member has some qualities that you can be grateful for. Focus on those. Let those qualities remind you of why you have a relationship in the first place. The more you focus on why you are grateful for them, the more things you will likely find.
7. It Acts Like A Magnet For Great Things
Picture gratitude as a magnet that doesn’t repel like things, but rather attracts them. While we are not going to get into the debate of whether or not like attracts like, let’s just take a look at how gratitude affects your perception and behavior, and how that will attract more good things into your life.
Gratitude affects your perception on life and helps you see things with more clarity. Instead of injecting your own opinions onto other people or things, you have an easier time seeing them for who or what they are and coming to more educated decisions about them. That helps you separate the truly great from the really crappy. It helps you see the opportunities and the things that are going to drag you down. That ability to perceive the things that could help make your life even better, is why gratitude attracts more things to be grateful for.
Moreover, gratitude affects your behavior. When you are grateful in your life, you conduct yourself differently than when you are upset with life. You do the things that make you feel good, and bypass the things that make you feel bad, and that helps you find more things that benefit your life. For instance, if you have a choice between dating a jerk or someone who has some great qualities, you will be more likely to choose the person with great qualities, and that will help you have a better relationship and everything that comes with that.
8. It Increases Your Well-Being
Your happiness and health depends on gratitude. Without it, they will suffer, without a doubt.
When you are grateful, you feel better about life and everything in it. You become happier in your day-to-day life. Your relationships feel better, your job feels better, and everything you do feels better.
For instance, if you become grateful for the little things in your home that make you happy, then you are going to enjoy the heck out of coming home and getting to make use of those things! That’s how happiness is formed. A positive mindset towards your life helps you feel pleasure at every turn.
When you are grateful, your health also improves. As said, it combats stress, and that has a huge impact on your overall health. But, it also helps you focus on doing good things for yourself. You don’t hurt your body. You choose things for yourself that help you feel good. And, when you are aware of what makes you feel healthy or not (thanks to your heightened awareness), you are able to do things for yourself that benefit your health.
9. It Helps You Attract Wealth
Attracting more wealth into your life requires that you do something different in your life. Unless you are set up for an inheritance, or have the luck to win the lottery, wealth can only come from hard work.
When you are able to see how things work in your favor, you are more willing to do what you need to do for success. Your confidence and faith ensure that you plant the seeds for success, water them, and trust that the seeds are going to grow into something great. That trust keeps you busy taking action on what you want to achieve, and that action ensures that you attract wealth to you like never before.
10. You Stop Caring Only About Yourself
Perhaps this is one of the greatest benefits of gratitude. When you are able to see things to be grateful for, and start feeling really good about life, you stop focusing on yourself and you start to see that everything and everyone wants to feel good and feel grateful. You stop solely caring about your well-being, and you start to care about the well-being of everyone and everything. And that makes the world a better place.
Many people think that giving and doing good for others is the meaning of life. It gives you purpose. It makes you feel useful. It boosts your confidence and happiness. And it increases the amount of love you feel on a day-to-day basis. So, they are probably right! And, it all starts with being able to appreciate everything and everyone around you. That’s a huge reason to start practicing gratitude today!