Benefits of Gratitude

“Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – G.K. Chesterton

My experience with adding in gratitude from 1 anxious person to another (and many of my coaching clients have reported the same experiences).

It was hard to get started. It felt silly.

We kept at it.

I felt like I was pretending. Still kept at it.

It started to work. We have to do it daily now. Not because we “have” to. Because we love it.

It truly has brought us joy.

Joy, like, what is that? Right? 2 years ago, having joy was like my own unicorn. I “heard” it existed. It seemed magical. Not something I could have. And now I have it. I have joy. J.O.Y.

For me? For moi? FOR YOU?!

Yes.

Let me show you how.

BUT FIRST (Big Brother reference). Let me share my joy with a little ditty.

♫ All right! Stop whatcha doin’
‘Cause I’m about to ruin
The image and the style that ya used to
I look funny, but yo I’m makin’ money, see
So yo world I hope you’re ready for me♫
-Courtesy of Digital Underground the Humpty Dance

Ohhhh! That felt good. Did you dance? I was totally chair dancing over here. The reason for doing this was to share my increased happiness with you, due to the benefits of gratitude.

This four-part blog series is going to be on simple steps to make your days better – leading to a better life. The point is to add something to your daily life to give you ease, control, joy, and fulfillment. Topics include helping your relationships and stop complaining. This post is about adding gratitude to benefit your emotional, physical, and spiritual well being.

Let’s dance and chant with me: I want better and I want it now. I want better and I want it now. I want better and I want it now.

If you want better and you want it now, step 1 is to add gratitude to your day.

“Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly all the time, is having to accept it.” – William Faulkner

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What are the benefits of gratitude?

There are so many benefits of adding in gratitude. The benefits can be split into 5 groups of strengthening your Emotional, Social, Personality, Career, and Health areas of life. I gathered this evidence from medical journals and personal experience that gratitude journaling WORKS.

Seriously, contemplate this for a second. Take your time and IMAGINE a better career outlook. Take your time and IMAGINE a better emotional outlook. What is possible IN YOUR WORLD with a better, stronger, healthier personality?

As a person that suffered from anxiety, my negative and fearful attitude was not good for others around me, and 100% not good for myself. Anxiety and negativity is a joy sucker.

From Psychology Today, Science has given us proof that gratitude gives us 7 benefits.

  • Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
    • Those who are more grateful have access to a wider social network, more friends, and better relationships on average.
  • Gratitude improves physical health.
    • Compared to control groups, people that practiced gratitude journaling were more likely to exercise. This may be due to ease of motivation.
    • Recover quicker from surgery and have a better immune system.
    • Expressing gratitude can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
  • Gratitude improves psychological health.
    • Gratitude journaling for five minutes a day can enhance long-term happiness by over 10%
    • Proven benefits of gratitude have found to protect children of ill parents from anxiety and depression, acting as a buffer against the internalization of symptoms.
  • Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
    • More likely to be more compassionate and generous – even to strangers.
    • Gratitude intervention resulted in greater tendencies towards positivity and an expanded capacity for happiness and optimism
  • Grateful people sleep better.
    • A two-week gratitude intervention increased sleep quality and reduced blood pressure in participants, leading to enhanced well-being.
  • Gratitude improves self-esteem.
    • Four weeks after completing gratitude journaling study participants reported greater life satisfaction and self-esteem.
  • Gratitude improves mental strength
    • Those that are more grateful than others are less likely to be impatient during decision-making, leading to better decisions.

What is gratitude?

Positive Psychology Program collected many definitions of being grateful. The one I like the most is “gratitude is more than feeling thankful for something, it is more like a deeper appreciation for someone (or something,) which produces longer lasting positivity.”

Positivity is the kryptonite of anxiety.

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Example of my planner with my daily gratitude written

How often should I express gratitude?

I would recommend daily. You can express it in verbal or written form. You can share it or keep it private.

I handwrite in my gratitude journal every morning, to make sure I get it done. It’s become a morning ritual that I enjoy. I started with this journal from Knock Knock Okay Fine, I’m Grateful.

Some people may prefer to speak their journal into their phone. Whatever works for you is the best way!

Do I need to do this forever?

Maybe.

It might be the boost to push out of anxiety mode. It might be a key ingredient to prevent anxiety. I would suggest expressing gratitude for 3 months, then test out stopping (if desired) and see what happens. After stopping, the worst thing would be the clarity that journaling was really helping you.

The simple solution is to resume expressing gratitude.

I’ve been consistent with my written practice for more than 6 months and I have no intention of stopping.

What does it look like?

Ahh, the beauty is in the variety.

Here are 3 REAL examples of my gratitude entries.

Fun option.

Adding feelings to your gratitude

Longer entry

Action:

Pick one to three actions from below to add to your day for a better life and career.

1) Keep a daily journal of what you are grateful for. This works well first thing in the morning, or just before you go to bed.

2) Make it a practice to tell a spouse, partner or friend something you appreciate about them every day.

3) Look in the mirror when you are brushing your teeth, and think about something you have done well recently or something you like about yourself.

4) Complete 100 days of gratitude on social media.

Let GRATITUDE be your only Attitude. The benefits of gratitude are far and wide, reaching your health, wealth, and happiness. Expressing gratitude daily can catapult yourself to positivity, connections, and a better life.

Leave a comment below with which action step you are going to add to your day – me, I’m going to add in the 100 days of gratitude on social media. Hope you join me! Check out my gratitude on your social media platform of choice!

https://www.instagram.com/focused_outcomes_coaching/

https://www.facebook.com/focusedoutcomes/