Starting a gratitude practice is the best choice I’ve ever made. Not only does practicing gratitude have many benefits for body and mind, gratitude also has a few practical benefits that will help make your day-to-day life easier, less stressful, and more fulfilling.
In fact, there are 7 practical reasons you need to start a gratitude practice today. Whaaat! Let’s get to them.
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GRATITUDE CREATES SOLUTIONS
Adopting a gratitude practice takes you out of problem (oh no, there’s only one piece of chocolate left!) and toward a solution (yum, there’s one piece of chocolate left!). It puts you into a best-outcomes mindset. That’s a skill you need in your life. Entire Fortune500 companies have been created from seeing solutions where others only saw obstacles.
GRATITUDE PUTS AN END TO COMPLAINING
Complaining means you’re focusing on all the things you don’t have, see, or experience. Gratitude makes you focus on all the things you do have, see, or experience, even despite certain negative circumstances. Complaining and being grateful don’t go together. Period. Make a choice. Which mindset will benefit you the most? To me, the answer is obvious…
GRATITUDE HELPS YOU OVERCOME PERFECTIONISM
Perfectionism is fear-based behavior. It’s a thought pattern that goes like this: 'If I do this perfectly or have a perfect life or look perfect, I am in control and therefore people can't hurt me or see me for who I really am.'
At the root of this thought pattern lies an assumption: that who you really are isn’t enough. No matter what you do. No matter how hard you try.
When you’re in perfectionist mode you operate from a place of lack. Your perspective is that you’re lacking, your life is lacking, the people around you are lacking, the work that you do is lacking. You believe that you are not enough and so is your life and work. You focus on all the things you don’t have, aren’t good at, have failed at…
The fastest and only way to snap out of that place of not enough is to focus on ENOUGH. To focus on the things you do have going for you. This is the definition of gratitude. Gratitude lets you focus on what’s there. Not what isn’t there or what you wish was there, but on what IS there.
GRATITUDE LIFTS YOUR MOOD
This is the benefit that made THE most difference for me in my daily life. I’ve shared before about how a couple of years ago I hit rock bottom. Or, as Brené Brown calls it: a breakdown/awakening. A counsellor I saw as part of my journey of healing, recovering, and personal growth gave me the assignment of rating my daily mood on a scale of 1 to 10 and to write that number down in my journal. I did that for the following three years.
A few weeks later, after my counsellor gave me that ‘rate your mood’ assignment yet totally unrelated to that part of my process, I decided I wanted to start a gratitude practice.
I’m so thankful that I’ve kept my journals from the last couple of years, because now I can see how my general mood has lifted over the years. I went from a barely average 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 to a solid 8 in just a few months.
GRATITUDE HELPS YOU SAY NO MORE EASILY
Most likely, you have trouble saying no. As do I. ‘No’ sounds so harsh and short and definitive, right? The thing about gratitude is that it softens just about any message you give or receive. Showing that you’re grateful softens the edges of that harsh ‘no’:
Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to politely decline.
I’m so grateful for you and our friendship, but what you’re suggesting isn’t convenient for me.
That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Not only is this a great way of putting your gratitude to practice in your relationships, but it also helps you say no in a kinder and more gentle way. Gratitude helps you say no in no time.
Related post: How to say no
GRATITUDE HELPS YOU SEE YOUR GOALS AND PURPOSE MORE CLEARLY
Gratitude helps you focus on what you already have. As a result from knowing all the things that you already have or that you’re capable of, it helps you zero in on those areas in your life that need improvement or in which you want to achieve something.
As I show in my ebook Growing Gratitude, practicing gratitude helps you hone in on what’s important to you and drown out outside voices. It's so easy to follow those voices and get swept away in society's view of success, but gratitude will help you figure out what your version of success looks like. It lets you channel your ambition to where it matters the most to you. It helps you find purpose, keeps you on a purposeful path, and helps you slay the goals you've set for yourself.
GRATITUDE MAKES YOU MORE CREATIVE
Gratitude opens your eyes to the world around you. It lets you see things you didn’t see before. It makes you notice things you previously took for granted or thought little of.
Gratitude changes AND enhances your perspective. It also opens and enhances all of your senses. You see more, you smell more, you feel more. Because of that ideas and creativity will start to flow within you.
What’s the biggest thing you struggle with when it comes to practicing gratitude? Let me know in the comments!
In the meantime, if you need a little help getting started with your gratitude practice, no matter what type of list you write, sign up for The Gratitude Toolbox. It’s a FREE set of resources to help you add more gratitude to your work and life:
- a cheatsheet with ideas for being more grateful in your work or business
- 30 gratitude prompts for jumpstarting your first 30 days of practicing gratitude
- a progress tracker for an extra boost of motivation and to help keep you on track
- a checklist with tips to help set you up for success
- AND several gratitude journals
Just click on the button below and you can get started with The Gratitude Toolbox right away.
Hi there! I’m Wendy, founder of The Gratefulist and host of the #perfectionistproblems community for recovering perfectionists. I’m insanely passionate about helping you start a gratitude practice so that you can let go of your perfectionism. Let’s chat about the hard stuff - like dealing with comparison, your inner critic, procrastination & growing your gratitude - so that you can stop caring so much about what other people think and finally take on those dream projects that you've been putting off for so long.