Improving Your Life through Gratitude

May 7th, 2019
By: Heather McMillen

There are numerous studies on how gratitude can improve your emotional and physical health, as well as your social life and career. Gratitude leads to happiness. It is also imperative to have a healthy and nurturing environment inside the workplace. When there is an absence of gratitude in the corporate culture there are increases of absenteeism, job dissatisfaction, and turnover.

You can’t solely control the corporate culture of your workplace but you can take control of how to positively affect your life. This will begin to impact others in your life such as family, coworkers, friends, and even strangers you might have a chance encounter with.

Benefits of practicing acts of gratitude:

  • Increased self-esteem
  • Healthier relationships, stronger marriage
  • More friends
  • Career impacts – increased productivity, improved decision-making, better time-management
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Strengthens emotional health
  • Overall happiness and it just makes you feel good

It requires little effort to begin practicing acts of gratitude and before you know it, you’re doing it naturally because that is who you have become.

Simple actions you can do to implement gratitude into your life:

  • Keep a journal and write down one to two things you are thankful for on a daily basis.
  • When life isn’t going in the direction you would like it to, ask yourself: What can I learn from this? How can I change my behavior in circumstances like this moving forward?
  • Set a promise to yourself to stop complaining, criticizing and gossiping. If you mess up, acknowledge and start over. You will realize how much energy you spent on negative thoughts and begin to speak in a more positive manner.
  • Hand out at least one compliment a day. It can be to someone in your life, a stranger or simply by sharing your thoughts for something you enjoy (how the smell of a fresh spring day energizes you).
  • Volunteer or donate to a special cause that is meaningful to you.
  • Think of a person in your life that inspires you. What is it about them that you appreciate? Concentrate on that and share those feelings with them about what they mean to you.

There are numerous books, blogs, and podcasts available to help one practice gratitude and I urge anyone to look further into these resources. It has helped me immensely in many areas of my life but still requires a daily and weekly reminder to take a few minutes to acknowledge what I’m thankful for.

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