3 Ways Practicing Gratitude Builds a Successful Life
November 15, 2022 3:54 AM EST | 4 min read
Gratitude is a popular buzzword that we often associate with the Thanksgiving holiday.
Still, being thankful is a practice we can implement every day of the year.
Consider the idea that ordinary life is something to be grateful for.
Are you alive?
Do you have:
- air to breathe
- food to eat
- people who care about you
Often, the things we take for granted are those we come to appreciate most.
Gratitude is also an expression that works wonders on our bodies, minds, and souls.
On the most basic level, gratitude increases happiness—if we choose it and take responsibility for our attitudes.
Look for proof of this in people you know who are happy in their own lives.
More than likely, they appreciate themselves, others, everything they have, and things they experienced.
People who approach everything they do with gratitude are always aware of what’s good in their lives—and attract success.
Here are three ways being thankful contributes to a successful life.
1. Gratitude Promotes Physical and Mental Wellbeing
Science is catching up with what people in some of the healthiest and happiest places in the world have known for years: gratitude and a positive attitude are good for the body and mind.
Recent studies at the University of California suggest that being thankful can lower anxiety and depression, improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and emotional responses to stress, decrease anger, and increase sleep quality.
Physical and mental well-being and the ability to recover quickly from stress while avoiding illness are key to improving performance.
And, ultimately, success in athletics, business, and life.
2. Being Thankful Enhances Relationships
Telling a friend, coworker, or family member that you appreciate them is one of the simplest acts of gratitude.
It makes you a positive force and attracts others to your energy.
Humans are wired for connection, and the strength of our relationships can enhance or detract from our personal and professional growth.
Saying “thank you” acknowledges someone’s time, effort, kindness, or attitude and the person’s very being.
Picture the boost you get from being recognized for any action, big or small.
Remember to be thankful for the people who positively impact your life—including yourself.
3. Being Thankful Breeds Joy
According to Brené Brown, a shame researcher at the University of Houston, practicing gratitude invites joy into our lives.
We often reverse the cause-and-effect—we believe joy allows us to feel thankful.
However, Brown’s research suggests that a tangible gratitude practice, beyond just an “attitude of gratitude,” actually leads to joyful living.
Positive affirmations (written or said aloud), journaling, goal setting, and vision boarding are all simple ways to express gratitude.
Try this: on separate sticky notes, write five qualities you appreciate about yourself, starting with the word “I AM.”
For example: “I AM fearless” or “I AM strong.”
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How to use these affirmations to your advantage
Place these on your bathroom mirror, car steering wheel, or wallet.
Say the affirmations aloud whenever you see them.
You can use this same practice with people or things in your life for which you are thankful.
Choosing gratitude over fault-finding—in yourself and others—and negative self-talk can drastically shift the course of your success.
Fault-finding limits how we view ourselves and other people, which ultimately caps what we can achieve and the support we can provide to others.
Focusing on what is good in your life and being kind and appreciative of yourself will translate into being kind and thankful to everyone around you.
Start shifting your mentality today:
- slow down
- commit to personal growth
This commitment to gratitude is NOT a passive act.
It takes dedication, mindfulness, and selflessness.
Genuine gratitude requires us to look at the bigger picture over our day-to-day challenges.
Gratitude asks us to trust that the outcome we are looking for will manifest.
Check-in with yourself regularly with the simple statement: “I am grateful for___________.”
Over time, the act of directing your attention back to this idea will make gratitude an integral part of your thought process.
Practice Gratitude for Success Today
Gratitude is not about making the “right choices” or forcing false positivity into our lives.
It is about directing our focus to the people, projects, and places that build us up.
If we pursue our passions with appreciation and gratitude for what we already have and believe that what we want is possible and deserved, success is the result.
Let us know what you are thankful for in the comment section below.
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