It is the day after Thanksgiving here in the United States, and while it has some controversial beginnings, the holiday is centered around the practice of gratitude. For those who celebrate, it is a time to be thankful for all the collective good in their lives. For me Thanksgiving serves as a prominent reminder of what we should be doing daily. Even in the worse of times, there is something to be grateful for, and a daily gratitude practice is the perfect reminder of this. Not only does it serve as a reminder, it is also beneficial to our mind, body and soul. It can help contribute to things such as lower blood pressure, less feelings of loneliness and isolation, and more happiness— all of which will help you be more successful in life.
- Being thankful increases happiness and positive emotions, contributing to the glass half full mindset. It creates a greater sense of optimism, in turn opening up the mind to the possibilities. Someone who believes things will work out in the end is more likely to take risks and put themselves out there to accomplish their goals. On the flip side, someone who sees the glass half empty believes things usually don’t work out in the end and takes less risks to avoid negative outcomes, hindering their chances of accomplishing their goals.
- Being thankful improves physical wellbeing. It is no secret that when you feel good you perform better. Someone who is constantly stressed out or dealing with physical health issues, such as high blood pressure, migraines, etc, will underperform. If fact, according to Dr. Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude and professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, people who are grateful are better equip to deal with serious trauma and adversity.
- Being thankful increases generosity and compassion. Whether it is due to the tit for tat nature of human beings or the the laws of Karma, the fact is, when you are kind to others, there is a much higher chance that they will return the kindness to you. You will get much further in life by being kind and compassionate than you would being egocentric and closed off. It is a matter of logic that the more people you have in your corner, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.
Ways to practice Daily Gratitude
Keep a gratitude journal.
Perform a daily act of kindness.
Commit to a few “No Complain” days a week.