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Published on November 9, 2020

7 Benefits of Gratitude That Will Remind You To Be Thankful Daily

7 Benefits of Gratitude That Will Remind You To Be Thankful Daily

There are a plethora of human emotions that can be considered universal in one way or another. One of these is gratitude. Gratitude is a human feeling that transcends culture, despite different cultures having various expressions of it. There are many benefits to gratitude, and one of the most important is that it reminds us to be thankful in our lives.

But before we go deeper on the benefits of gratitude and how we can practice it, let’s first define what gratitude is.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is a powerful emotion accompanied by appreciation. It is a condition that makes a person thankful for something. Gratitude can also refer to the conscious act of being thankful for what you already have in your life.

Examples of what you may express gratitude for includes your health, family, friends, relationships, work-life, or home life. When you begin to realize how much you actually have to be grateful for in your present situation, your outlook on life can positively change.

How Can You Practice Gratitude?

There are many quick and simple ways to practice gratitude daily, examples include:

  • As soon as you wake up, be thankful that you can experience another day and take a few minutes to think about what else in your life that you can be grateful for.
  • Practice meditation that focuses on gratitude.
  • A gratitude journal can dramatically change your day. Use it to document what experiences you have had that day that you can be grateful for.
  • Practice mindfulness throughout the day. Be aware of what you are experiencing there and then, and be grateful for it.
  • At the end of each day when you go to bed, reflect on your achievements, successes, and what you have to be grateful for that day.

What are the Benefits of Practicing Gratitude?

Given the number of ways we can express and practice gratitude in our lives, it’s not surprising that doing so has a positive effect on us. Here are 7 benefits of gratitude that will make you thankful for your life.

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1. Happiness

Happiness is an important feeling that humans strive to achieve, and there is evidence to suggest that practicing gratitude can help you to do this. If you focus on what you are grateful for in life, then you are, in fact, focusing on what makes you happy.

There are studies on how practicing gratitude can lead to a happier life. It has been found that gratitude enables the mind to compensate for the brain’s innate tendency to focus on the negative aspects of life, such as worry. Gratitude then replaces this with positive emotions, such as love and joy, which in turn promotes happiness.[1]

Gratitude catapults us into happiness because gratitude is our true nature—and so is happiness. Gratitude and happiness are not actually two different things—they can be considered as one and the same.

When you’re grateful, you will be happy, and when you’re happy you are automatically grateful. At the end of the day, all that anyone of us wants is happiness, and the easiest, fastest way to happiness is through gratitude. Remain grateful, and you will live your whole life in happiness.

The notion of The Law Of Attraction (like attracts like) helps us understand how gratitude can promote happiness. If you are grateful for what makes you happy in your life, then you will attract more happiness. If you practice gratitude, then you are opening your mind to positivity—and so the law of attraction suggests that more positivity will come your way.

2. Improved Sleep

Practicing gratitude can promote an improvement in your sleep. It has already been stated that gratitude promotes positivity. When you are in bed and ready to sleep, it is a time when your mind can work overtime. You may go over worries that have accumulated throughout the day and negative thoughts may rise to the surface.

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However, if you have written in your gratitude journal just before getting into bed and have spent a few minutes focusing on the successes and achievements of that day, there is very little reason or space for negativity to come to mind.

The result is a peaceful positive mind that is ready for a quality night’s sleep, rather than a mind dwelling on the negatives and worries of that day. Furthermore, a meditation focused on gratitude can prepare your body and mind for a restful night’s sleep.

3. You May Save Money

Being grateful for what you already have in life that money cannot buy, such as family, friends, and relationships may lead to you living a life where you find more joy in less materialistic things.

Previously, you may have thought that a new item, jewelry, or clothing may make you happy if you are feeling low. Once you practice gratitude, you may now feel that a nice walk in the countryside with your family can bring you greater happiness and more satisfaction. Gratitude provides you with the opportunity to reflect on what you have, not what you want.

4. Improved Relationships With Your Family, Friends, and Partner

At some point in any relationship, you may feel that you are having more lows than highs. You may irritate each other with your habits or traits. The other person may take their stresses out on you and you may be arguing more than usual. Practicing gratitude for that person and your relationship can help you to begin focusing more on the positives and what that relationship brings to you rather than the negatives.

You never know, you may actually find that the relationship brings more benefits to your life than you originally thought, and you may appreciate that relationship more than ever before.

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5. Improved Mental Health

Gratitude is a state of mind and an attitude. If a person shifts from a negative state of mind where they have feelings such as anxiety and depression to a more positive state of mind using gratitude, then they can greatly improve their mental health.

Gratitude involves focusing on what you are thankful for in your life. If you have worries and they play on your mind, the worries can seem bigger and less manageable than they actually are. By practicing gratitude, you can put your worries into perspective as you focus on what you already have and are thankful for. You can then go on to manage life’s challenges from a more positive mindset, and you may find that these challenges are easier to manage.

Leading on from this, your self-esteem may also improve. If you are feeling better about your situation, then this in turn can make you feel better about yourself.

Research has also shown that “by consciously practicing gratitude, we can train the brain to attend selectively to positive emotions and thoughts, thus reducing anxiety and feelings of apprehension.”[2]

The simple act of reminding yourself of the positive things in your life—even as simple as the roof over your head or food on your plate—can invoke feelings of thankfulness and optimism that make managing stress, depression, or anxiety easier.

6. Physical Health

As a result of an improvement in mental health by practicing daily gratitude, your physical health can also be improved. If you are in a healthy mental state, then you are more likely to be motivated to want to look after yourself physically, and this can lead to you taking more exercise or eating healthier. Yoga can be a great way to improve your physical health and mindset.

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Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.[3]

7. Career Benefits

The benefits of practicing gratitude in your personal life can carry over to your work life automatically. For example, reduced stress and a generally better sense of well-being in your personal life reflect on your work-life by enabling you to concentrate better at work and not be preoccupied with personal problems.

However, there are specific benefits to your work life that gratitude can bring. These can include finding meaning in your work, which in turn enables you to feel that your work has an impact on others in a positive way. This can then improve productivity because you feel that your work is making a difference and is worthwhile.

Work generally takes up a large part of your day. You may be with your work colleagues for more time than you are with your family. This part of the day can be made more positive and meaningful by practicing gratitude, which can help you to want to get out of bed in the morning to go to work.

Final Thoughts

Gratitude is a mindset that can be achieved by making it a simple habit that forms part of your daily routine, and the bonus is that it is not time-consuming. Gratitude can improve your whole well-being, induce a sense of fulfillment, and make a huge impact in many areas of your life.

If a simple habit can improve your happiness, sleep, relationships, financial situation, physical health, mental health, and career, then make the conscious effort to start practicing gratitude today and spread the word.

Featured photo credit: Gabrielle Henderson via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Charlotte Chidlow

Declutter Consultant and Life Coach with a BSc (Hons) Psychology with the Open University.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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