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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

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Charlotte Chidlow

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

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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

As playwright Wilson Mizner supposedly said all the way back in the 1930s,

“Be kind to everyone on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way down.”

The adage is the perfect prototype for relationship building in 2020, although we may want to expand Mizner’s definition of “kind” to include being helpful, respectful, grateful, and above all, crediting your colleagues along the way.

5 Ways to Switch on Your Relationship Building Magnetism

Relationship building does not come easily to all. Today’s computer culture makes us more insular and less likely to reach out—not to mention our new work-from-home situation in which we are only able to interact virtually. Still, relationship building remains an important part of career engagement and success, and it gets better with practice.

Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationships:

1. Advocate for Other’s Ideas

Take the initiative to speak up in support of other team members’ good ideas. Doing so lets others know that the team’s success takes precedence over your needs for personal success. Get behind any colleague’s innovative approach or clever solution and offer whatever help you can give to see it through. Teammates will value your vote of confidence and your support.

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2. Show Compassion

If you learn that someone whom you work with has encountered difficult times, reach out. If it’s not someone you know well, a hand-written card expressing your sympathy and hopes for better times ahead could be an initial gesture. If it’s someone with whom you interact regularly, the act could involve offering to take on some of the person’s work to provide a needed reprieve or even bringing in a home-cooked dish as a way to offer comfort. The show of compassion will not go unnoticed, and your relationship building will have found a foothold.

3. Communicate Regularly

Make an effort to share any information with team members that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Keeping people in the loop says a lot about your consideration for what others need to deliver their best results.

Try to discover the preferred mode of communication for each team member. Some people are fine relying on emails; others like to have a phone conversation. And once we can finally return to working together in offices, you may determine that face-to-face updates may be most advantageous for some members.

4. Ask for Feedback

Showing your willingness to reach out for advice and guidance will make a positive impression on your boss. When you make it clear that you welcome and can accept pointers, you display candor and trust in what opinions your superior has to offer. Your proclivity towards considering ways of improving your performance and strengthening any working interactions will signal your strong relationship skills.

If you are in a work environment where you are asked to give feedback, be generous and compassionate. That does not mean being wishy-washy. Try always to give the type of feedback that you wouldn’t mind receiving.

5. Give Credit Where It’s Due

Be the worker who remembers to credit staffers with their contributions. It’s a surprisingly rare talent to credit others, but when you do so, they will remember to credit you, and the collective credit your team will accrue will be well worth the effort.

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How Does Relationship Building Build Careers?

Once you have strengthened and deepened your relationships, here are some of the great benefits:

Work Doesn’t Feel So Much Like Work

According to a Gallup poll, when you have a best friend at work, you are more likely to feel engaged with your job. Work is more fun when you have positive, productive relationships with your colleagues. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming difficult personalities, you can spend time enjoying the camaraderie with colleagues as you work congenially on projects together. When your coworkers are your friends, time goes by quickly and challenges don’t weigh as heavily.

You Can Find Good Help

It’s easier to ask for assistance when you have a good working relationship with a colleague. And with office tasks changing at the speed of technology, chances are that you are going to need some help acclimating—especially now that work has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much of relationship building rests on your genuine expressions of appreciation toward others. Showing gratitude for another’s help or for their willingness to put in the extra effort will let them know you value them.

Mentors Come Out of the Woodwork

Mentors are proven to advance your professional and career development. A mentor can help you navigate how to approach your work and keep you apprised of industry trends. They have a plethora of experience to draw from that can be invaluable when advising you on achieving career success and advancement.

Mentors flock to those who are skilled at relationship building. So, work on your relationships and keep your eyes peeled for a worthy mentor.

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You Pull Together as a Team

Great teamwork starts with having an “abundance mentality” rather than a scarcity mentality. Too often, workers view all projects through a scarcity mentality lens. This leads to office strife as coworkers compete for their piece of the pie. But in an abundance mentality mode, you focus on the strengths that others bring rather than the possibility that they are potential competitors.

Instead, you can commit relationship building efforts to ensure a positive work environment rather than an adversarial one. When you let others know that you intend to support their efforts and contribute to their success, they will respond in kind. Go, team!

Your Network Expands and So Does Your Paycheck

Expand your relationship building scope beyond your coworkers to include customers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Your extra efforts can lead to extra sales, a more rewarding career, and even speedy professional advancement. And don’t overlook the importance of building warm relationships with assistants, receptionists, or even interns.

Take care to build bridges, not just to your boss and your boss’s boss but with those that work under you as well. You may find that someone who you wouldn’t expect will put in a good word for you with your supervisor.

Building and maintaining good working relationships with everyone you come in contact with can pay off in unforeseen ways. You never know when that underling will turn out to be the company’s “golden child.” Six years from now you may be turning to them for a job. If you have built up a good, trusting work relationship with others along your way, you will more likely be considered for positions that any of these people may be looking to fill.

Your Job Won’t Stress You Out

Study shows that some 83 percent of American workers experience work-related stress.[1] Granted, some of that stress is now likely caused by the new pandemic-triggered workplace adjustments, yet bosses and management, in general, are reportedly the predominant source of stress for more than one-third of workers.

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Having meaningful connections among coworkers is the best way to make work less stressful. Whether it is having others whom to commiserate with, bounce ideas off, or bring out your best performance, friendships strengthen the group’s esprit de corps and lower the stress level of your job.

Your Career Shines Bright

Who would you feel better about approaching to provide a recommendation or ask for promotion: a cold, aloof boss with whom you have only an impersonal relationship or one that knows you as a person and with whom you have built a warm, trusting relationship?

Your career advancement will always excel when you have a mutual bond of friendship and appreciation with those who can recommend you. Consider the plug you could receive from a supervisor who knows you as a friend versus one who remains detached and only notices you in terms of your ability to meet deadlines or attain goals.

When people fully know your skills, strengths, personality, and aspirations, you have promoters who will sing your praises with any opportunity for advancement.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it is “who you know” not “what you know.” When you build relationships, you build a pipeline of colleagues, work partners, team members, current bosses, and former bosses who want to help you—who want to see you succeed.

At its core, every business is a people business. Making a point to take the small but meaningful actions that build the foundation of a good relationship can be instrumental in cultivating better relationships at work.

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Featured photo credit: Adam Winger via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The American Institute of Stress: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

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