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8 Amazing Things Will Happen When You Start Practicing Gratitude

8 Amazing Things Will Happen When You Start Practicing Gratitude

Do you want to be more grateful? There are lots of benefits to practicing gratitude — for starters, you will be a happier person who is more content with their life. There are lots of different ways you can be more grateful. You can keep a gratitude journal, or you can practice saying “thank you” to one person every day.

Practicing gratitude is one of the fastest ways to improve your life. Check out the following 8 amazing things that will happen when you start to practice gratitude.

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1. You will sleep better

If you don’t feel grateful in your life, you may struggle to sleep at night because you feel discontent. However, you can fix this by practicing gratitude. According to a 2009 study, thinking about the things that you are grateful for will improve your quality of sleep. You will also sleep for longer and feel better rested when you wake up.

2. You will be less stressed out

Stress is one of the most common problems for adults today. Many people lay awake at night, stressing about their relationships and their career. However, stress and being ungrateful go hand in hand – a study published in Research on Aging found that older people who were grateful for their lives experienced less harmful effects from stress.

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This even applied to the people who had lived in difficult circumstances, like poverty – which goes to show that your outlook is more important than anything else.

3. Your health will improve

Do your body a favor by being grateful. Practicing gratitude doesn’t just alter your mind – it even affects your body physically. Researchers have found a link between gratitude and having lower blood pressure, as well as fewer aches and pains and improved immunity. Grateful people even have healthier hearts!

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4. You will have better relationships

It makes sense that the most grateful people are often the most popular. Saying “thank you” and appreciating kind gestures makes people want to form an ongoing relationship with you, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion. Saying “thank you” is often a conversation starter in itself – and let’s face it, being rude rarely makes you friends!

5. You will have more energy

Being aware of the things that you are grateful for may actually help you to achieve your dreams and goals. A 2003 study found that the participants who kept a gratitude journal reported higher levels of enthusiasm, determination, energy, and alertness. When you start being thankful, you notice every small bit of progress that you make, which helps to motivate you to keep going.

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6. You will manage pain better

Gratitude helps you to maintain a positive outlook, helping you to manage your stress and stay mentally strong even during the hardest times. A study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy found that war veterans who maintained high levels of gratitude experienced lower levels of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

7. You will improve your leadership skills

Do you lead and manage people during your work day? If so, being grateful at work will make you a better leader; according to research from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, grateful leaders motivate their employees to be more productive. The study found that employees who had been thanked by their leader made 50% more fundraising calls than the employees who hadn’t been thanked.

8. You will feel more self-confident

Lots of studies have found a link between gratitude and higher levels of self-esteem. Some studies found that being grateful reduces social comparisons, so you are more likely to be happy in yourself instead of comparing yourself to others. Instead of feeling jealous of other successful people, focus on your own achievements and successes so that you can have a happier life.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time. That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.

Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc. To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no—an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger, or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to stop people pleasing and master the gentle art of saying no.

1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.

Be honest when you tell them that: “I just can’t right now. My plate is overloaded as it is.” They’ll sympathize as they likely have a lot going on as well, and they’ll respect your openness, honesty, and attention to self-care.

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which, for many of us, is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

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For example, if my wife asks me to pick up the kids from school a couple of extra days a week, I’ll likely try to make time for it as my family is my highest priority. However, if a coworker asks for help on some extra projects, I know that will mean less time with my wife and kids, so I will be more likely to say no. 

However, for others, work is their priority, and helping on extra projects could mean the chance for a promotion or raise. It’s all about knowing your long-term goals and what you’ll need to say yes and no to in order to get there. 

You can learn more about how to set your priorities here.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word[1].

Sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important when you learn to say no, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.

When you say no, realize that you have nothing to feel bad about. You have every right to ensure you have time for the things that are important to you. 

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. However, if you erect a wall or set boundaries, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss—they’re our boss, right? And if we start saying no, then we look like we can’t handle the work—at least, that’s the common reasoning[2].

In fact, it’s the opposite—explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

“Look, everyone, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects, and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

This, of course, takes a great deal of awareness that you’ll likely only have after having worked in one place or been friends with someone for a while. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly useful.

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8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, try saying no this way:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands. If you need to continue saying no, here are some other ways to do so[3]:

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Saying no the healthy way

    10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

    This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

    Simply say so—you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization—but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true, as people can sense insincerity.

    The Bottom Line

    Saying no isn’t an easy thing to do, but once you master it, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more focused on the things that really matter to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about organizing your personal life and mental health in a way that feels good to you.

    Remember that when you learn to say no, isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of your time, energy, and sanity. Once you learn how to say no in a good way, people will respect your willingness to practice self-care and prioritization. 

    More Tips for a Less Stressful Life

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

    Reference

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