What are the 10 benefits of gratitude?
How can I have gratitude in my life?
Maybe you’ve heard about the power of gratitude and how it can change your life, but you’re curious about what gratitude is and how it works.
The definition of gratitude is ‘the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness’.
Gratitude is not only about us, and how we feel about what we have (or do not have) in our lives.
This definition is a great reminder that it also extends to how we treat others. I think it sets the tone for looking at the 10 benefits of gratitude in life. To realize that treating others with kindness is also a form of gratitude.
The next time you respond kindly to someone, you will be able to recognize this as an act of gratitude towards them for treating you kindly. I love that because it helps us realize the ripple effect of our actions.
When we consider the power of gratitude, we realize it is a mindset and a way of living that builds us up and helps us to live a full and happy life. Gratitude is finding joy in the smallest thing, and once we can tune in to that way of thinking, we’re set!
The Meaning Behind Gratitude
So many people are talking about gratitude lately. But, people talk about surface-level gratitude. People talk about making gratitude lists. Great idea, but when it becomes just another thing to do the meaning becomes lost.
To have a real impact on your emotional wellbeing you have to lean into the meaning behind it. Feel the emotions attached to gratitude. When you write out your list, stop for a moment. Be mindful of each individual item on your list. This is the key.
This is where you are actually living the true essence of gratitude. So, you’re grateful for your Mom. Of course, you are! But, did you reflect on the coziness of her cuddles or the love in her baking? You are grateful for the food on your table, but what about the enjoyment of the food or the nourishment it provides?
If you are not in the habit of being grateful, starting with your gratitude list is perfect. I just don’t want it to stop there! So, write out your 5 Things I’m Grateful For list every day, but expand upon it. Read the top 10 benefits of gratitude in life before you start your list to get focus and inspiration.
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Focus down on one of them at a time and soak up the emotions attached to them. Pick an item, express gratitude, and then explain the ‘why’ behind the gratitude. Take it to a deeper level, this is where it will connect with your soul and actually make a change for you.
With that said, let’s take a look at the 10 benefits of gratitude in life.
Top 10 Benefits of Gratitude in Life
#1. Gratitude is a Life Changing Mindset
The reason gratitude changes lives is because it is a mindset. It isn’t a one-off. It is a new way of seeing everything in your life. When you wake up in gratitude you say thank you for the sound of the birds singing because they remind you of the life all around you.
You see the lesson’s in life’s challenges and remember to say thank you instead of begrudging what is actually sent to help you grow. You realize that gratitude has to be a blanket mindset, not just applied where it suits us, for it to have its full impact on our lives.
#2. A Tool for Self-Reflection
When you are actively engaged in gratitude you are in a reflective state. Which is the perfect place to be in to reflect on your life, to put things into perspective.
So, for example, you write on your list: I’m grateful for my positive mindset. What you want is for this to lead to reflecting on all the times when you reframed your outlook on life towards the positive. If you listed your positive mindset and then went on to say, ‘except for when I burn the dinner, or make mistakes at work’, that would defeat the object.
What you want is for this to turn into a snowball effect of good thoughts and emotions. You want to be spurred on to list all the other good things about yourself! There is so much power in this domino effect. Try it out!
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#3. Mindset Adjustment for Work
Just like gratitude towards yourself can have a ripple effect, an attitude of gratitude will have a major influence on your work life. Read this article on My Saltwater Skyline called ‘An Attitude of Gratitude can Change your Life’.
If you work for someone, a simple acknowledgment of the people you work with can change your mindset. If you work for yourself, mindset is a game-changer. That’s where gratitude comes in.
For a start. How often do you look back on your journey as an entrepreneur? How often do you pat yourself on the back for how far you’ve come? We are quick to question why we haven’t achieved this or that, but not so quick to say ‘Wow, actually, look at how far you’ve come!’.
Number 5 on the list of top 10 benefits of gratitude in life has to be perspective. Once you have trained your brain to see the blessings in everything it becomes a way of life.
You gain an understanding of the value of life in general. You are quick to pull yourself back from negative thoughts and remind yourself of your blessings. In short, gratitude puts things into perspective.
Gratitude gives you perspective on your health, the time you have in this life, and how precious it is. You recognize the power of gratitude to show you the value of your relationships. When we have this new perspective we don’t take anything for granted.
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#5. The Ripple Effect of Gratitude
Consider the ripple effect of gratitude. Let it act like a wave, a ripple, among the people around you. Something like the butterfly effect. Understand that your actions influence those around you.
Your mindset rubs off. If you have children, for example, your gratitude and general attitude towards life will rub off on them.
Try it out the next time someone is in a negative frame of mind. Consciously divert the subject away from the negative to the positive. Make the other person aware of what you are doing and conscious of their changed mindset.
#6. Seize the Day
Because gratitude is so good at putting things into perspective, it is the perfect mindset adjustment to fuel your fire. Gratitude allows you to recognize opportunities in life.
When you are in a negative headspace you shrug off opportunities, dismissing them altogether or believing you aren’t good enough to make the most of them.
When you’re grateful, you see the opportunities. The 10 benefits of gratitude in your life become opportunities you grab with both hands. You recognize that this might be fleeting or that the opportunity could easily have been offered to someone else.
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#7. Gratitude Makes You Healthier
Did you know that gratitude can actually make you healthier too? In this fascinating article in Positive Psychology, they go into more detail about how gratitude can affect your health. From reduced pain to better sleep, gratitude works like magic on your overall wellbeing.
They talk about how gratitude actually changes the structure of the brain. This is awesome news because it means that through actively practicing gratitude you can actually change your brain to see the world through these rose-tinted glasses. Thereby changing your entire experience of life.
#8. Gratitude and Resilience
You may not be able to connect the dots here, but gratitude gives you the ‘bounce back’ attitude towards life. When you are grateful, you are more prone to positive thinking. This means that when life gets you down, you don’t stay down.
You see the good. The ‘bright side’. You understand that a bad day does not make a bad life. This is a true testament to the power of gratitude.
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#9. Serendipity and Intuition
I’m a bit of a romantic which makes it’s pretty easy for me to see the good in things. This optimistic side of me is the side that sees the ‘signs from the universe’ everywhere I go. Again, this comes down to the way I choose to see the world.
I’ve had many, many serendipitous events happen in my life. If I didn’t lean towards the ‘frame everything with a positive outlook’ mentality then, well, I wouldn’t see them as serendipitous at all, would I?
This means, that without the Attitude with a capital A, you quite simply miss out on all the wonderful experiences meant to surprise and delight you in life. You don’t want that now do you!
I believe that a grateful heart is one that is connected to their intuition. So, what I mean here is, we are tuned in to those nudges and blessings all around us in life.
The 10 benefits of gratitude in life cover many aspects of life, but this one goes deeper than the rest. This is about learning to trust yourself and your inner guidance. In essence, we are living life with our hearts open to accept guidance from the universe.
#10. Hard Times and Blessings
My heart is full of gratitude. It is one of the cornerstones of my life, my mindset, and my attitude. But, while I have lived a blessed life, I do wonder if my grateful heart was not strengthened through the difficult times. Through the lessons that the sad times can teach us.
We have had tough times, but we find our way through. We have support, guidance, encouragement. There are many opportunities for gratitude through these times. Do you have tough times that you can reflect on that fill your heart with gratitude? Would you have considered this on a list of 10 benefits of gratitude in life?
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The Lesson is to Take the Good with the Bad
Picture the contrast between a day spent in gratitude and a day spent without. You walk through your day smelling the roses instead of walking right past them. You notice the droplets of rain on the leaves or hear the birds singing. You thank your creator for the blessing of being alive!
When you tune in to gratitude as a way of living, you see blessings all around you. A smile from a stranger is a reminder of the kindness in mankind. When you are not aware of your blessings, life becomes dull and grey. Gratitude is like shining a light in a dark place, allowing you to see.
Challenge Yourself To Be Grateful
So, after reading the list of 10 benefits of gratitude in life I have a challenge for you. Challenge yourself to go through one day of focused gratitude towards everything in your life. This way when you have a negative thought pop up you will be more aware of it and able to reign it in, replacing it with a more positive thought.
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You might be thinking, I thought we were talking gratitude, not positivity? What do you think gratitude is? It is a positive mindset focused on all things good! Expressing gratitude is impossible with a negative mindset.
Try it! It’s a great test to show you the power of gratitude. Try grumbling ‘I’m so grateful that I have shoes to wear today’. Chances are you’ll feel silly and hopefully have a laugh at yourself, which is a decided improvement on your grumpy mood, so winning!
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Gratitude Is Everthing
My take-away on the 10 benefits of gratitude in life is this. Your world is a better place when you are grateful. Full stop. You say thank you for each breath, each experience (good or bad), each rising sun or sparkling star.
You see the world around you. Experience it and know that tomorrow it may be gone. You hold your loved ones tighter, smell their hair, and gaze into their eyes. ‘Today is all there is’ becomes your life motto because it’s true!
So, if I can leave you with one thing, it would be to make gratitude like breathing. View it as a life force, an essential part of daily life. With this as your attitude towards life, you will find joy at every turn. Yours, in gratitude!What does gratitude mean in life? Why should you be more thankful? Click here for 10 benefits of gratitude in life you need to know. #Gratitude #Thanksgiving #Thankful #Grateful #GiveThanks
What are the 10 benefits of gratitude in your life?
More About Guest Contributor
Stephanie Pick is a Personal Growth blogger, at MySaltWaterSkyline, dedicated to helping people see the beauty of their lives, and themselves. To seek out ways to understand themselves better and to live to their fullest potential.
Last Updated on November 30, 2021