Benefits of Expressing Gratitude
The benefits of an intentional practice of gratitude are quite incredible. For many years now I have skipped the annual new years resolutions for annual new year intentions instead. I have several, but the one for us to talk about today is simply this:
“I express gratitude”
When you look for things to be grateful for, you naturally begin to focus on all of the good things in your life. The more you are grateful, the more you will have to be grateful for. This is known in physiology circles as the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, or Baader-Meinhof effect, is when your awareness of something increases. This leads you to believe it's actually happening more. It’s like when you buy a green car and then suddenly, as if by magic, every third car you see on the road is green. You are tuned into what you have been thinking about.
In my research I have learned that the benefits of creating a practice of gratitude are even more far-reaching than I ever imagined. The benefits fall into 5 groups:
Emotional Benefits – Studies show your long-term happiness will increase by at least 10%
Social Benefits – Your relationships will be stronger and more meaningful
Personality Benefits – You will be more optimistic, more giving and less materialistic
Career Benefits – You will be a more effective manager and make better decisions
Health Benefits- You will reduce stress, sleep better and improve your overall physical health
Additional benefit details and scientific study references can be found at https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-gratitude-research-questions/
Let's get started!
Choose your method:
A gratitude journal you write in every day, intentionally look for new things that you have not yet noted. Each day you will look for things that:
Make you happy
You can’t live without
A person whose help you need or appreciate
Something that makes you smile
Something that you enjoy
Someone you love
Something fun (or funny)
The things you see, hear, taste, feel or smell that bring you a moment, or more, of joy.
You can find the steps on how to get started with your gratitude journal here. And watch for upcoming Saturday 24-hour challenges to help get you started.
Your journal helps you by keeping your focus and awareness on all of the beauty and good things you have in your life. It is so powerful, but we also want to express that gratitude to others.
Look for reasons to say thank you.
Send an unexpected note.
Have small gifts ready to give.
Give back – be charitable where and how you can
Practice random acts of kindness
Start the gratitude jar tradition, you and others in the household add written gratitude notes to the jar throughout the year and read on New Year’s Eve for a grand year end review
Consider a household blackboard and start a ritual of writing what you appreciate about each other throughout the week
Your challenge for today is to start your gratitude journal or choose another gratitude ritual and just begin!
Linda Short of Elle Short Coaching is a Goal Achievement Coach, certified health and life coach specializing in goal achievement. As a goal achievement coach, I help people struggling with where they are to create their own life story and take action toward their life vision. So that they can be mindful, get unstuck, find joy in each and every day, and live their best life.
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