Benovates’ Expert Blogger
By: Mikayla Borchert
Benovates’ Expert Blogger
3 Ways Practicing Gratitude Can Build a Successful Life
What makes you feel gratitude? Maybe it’s a grand gesture from a loved one. Maybe it’s when a stranger holds the door for you. Whatever it is, everyone could use more of it. Studies have shown that gratitude is more than feeling nice for a moment or two—it can actually help you build success. Author Goeffrey James says, “People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what’s wonderful in their life. Because they enjoy the fruits of their successes, they seek out more success. And when things don’t go as planned, people who are grateful can put failure into perspective.” He explains that gratitude is an emotional muscle that we can all exercise and build. Use some of the ideas below to give your gratitude muscle a workout!
Start the week off on the right foot — sit down each Monday to think of a few things you are currently thankful for. Reflect on the previous week as well. What are some positive things that happened? Is there anything you can do to improve for this week? What were you grateful for? Reflecting on the positives can make you more cheerful and optimistic for the week ahead. This positivity is good for your personal life, as well as your professional life. According to the Journal of Career Assessment, positive people perform better at work and receive higher evaluations from supervisors.
Research shows a definite link between positivity and better health. Being positive can help you improve stress levels, increase your satisfaction with your life, and help improve your ability to bounce back from hardships throughout life. Being mindful doesn’t have to be reserved for just the beginning of the week. Once you get the hang of it, try to increase until you’re doing it daily.
"For the most part, I can't tell you how important it is to take those first five minutes [of the day] and be thankful for life."
—John Paul DeJoria
Practice for Happiness
Once you get into the habit of being mindful, then you can take it to the next level: write it down! If you define success by happiness, you’ll be glad to know that the University of Miami, UCLA, and The Journal of Psychology published studies showing that savoring the good moments in life, the things you’re grateful for, increases your overall happiness. Keep a journal of the things that make you happy or thankful. The act of writing it down will cause you to feel grateful again, and you can refer back if you ever need a positive reminder.
Take this into your professional life as well by keeping a gratitude notebook at work. You’ll feel more fulfilled at the end of each day if you focus on the parts of your job that make you grateful. Having trouble thinking of what to write? Talk to a supervisor about new opportunities or a side project they might need help with.We all know what it feels like to stew in the negative moments, but that just makes us feel worse. By practicing gratitude this way, you’ll train your mind to focus on the positive things in your life, no matter how small.
“You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you're aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots"
Practicing gratitude will improve your relationship with yourself and with others. Can you sing? Do you like to read? Are you good about folding your laundry? Everyone has good qualities; write yours down. By training your mind to look at life this way, you’ll start to have a higher self-esteem. Instead of feeling bad for the qualities you think you lack, you’ll be grateful for what you do have. It can be difficult to embrace yourself, but it’s so much better than trying to be someone you’re not.
Gratitude draws people to each other. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and everyone likes positivity, so practice gratitude with your friends and family. Thank you doesn’t have to be reserved for gifts. If someone says or does something that gets written in your book, make sure to tell them. They’ll be happy to hear, “Thank you for making me smile” and “I really appreciated spending time with you.” Sometimes we apologize when a simple thank you would be more appropriate. Instead of saying “sorry for talking so much,” try “thank you for listening.” It will make you feel better, and the other person will be glad to hear it too.
"Take full account of the excellences which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not."
Positivity isn’t always our first instinct, but it’s something to strive for. You can start building success in all areas of your life by practicing gratitude. Saying thank you sounds like such a simple thing, but it actually has an enormous impact on the way we see the world. So, as we head into Thanksgiving, let’s all take a moment to focus on the positives and think about what we’re grateful for.
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