It’s easy to see the worst in a situation. It’s easy to take your loved ones for granted. It’s easy to forget how good you have it.
Your life might not be perfect — but you should not spend all of your time complaining about what you do not have when you already have so much. You are fortunate to have friends who love you, family who support you, a job, a roof, groceries.
Appreciating what you have, even when you do not have a lot, will change you for the better. Here are some of the biggest benefits of gratitude:
1. Gratitude limits your spending by reducing your materialism.
You will waste money if you are always looking for the newest, sparkliest product. However, if you are grateful for the phone you already have, you are not going to be in a rush to throw it out when another version is released. If you are grateful for the items in your closet, you are not going to be eager to buy another cart full of clothes when you browse online. You will be happy with what you already have.
2. Gratitude helps you develop more trusting, intimate relationships.
When you see someone every single day, it is easy to forget how much they mean to you. However, when you practice gratitude by reminding yourself how fortunate you are to have this person in your world, you will treat them better. You will put more effort into maintaining your relationship. You will vocalize your feelings to make sure they realize how much they mean to you. This will strengthen your bond. This will bring you closer together than ever before.
3. Gratitude encourages you to live in the moment and step away from the past.
When you are grateful for what you have right this moment, you stop thinking about what you hope to have in the future and what you miss having in the past. You stop living with regrets. You stop wishing you could reverse or fast forward time. Gratitude encourages you to enjoy the moment, to live in the now. This will prevent you from staring at the clock, counting down until class is over, until work is over, until your commute is over. It will stop you from spending your whole life wishing you were someplace else.
4. Gratitude leads to more positive thinking by destroying negative thoughts.
When you realize how fortunate you are, you are not going to dwell on the small things that go wrong. You are not going to overreact when you say the wrong thing. You are not going to feel like the world is ending when you stumble or fall. Even if you have a rough day, you will be okay in the end, because you have so many other things to be happy about. You will never be able to stay upset for long.
5. Gratitude raises your chances of reaching success.
When you assume only bad things happen to you, you give up easier. You assume you are going to fail so you do not even try. However, when you practice gratitude, you have a more positive outlook on life. You take more risks. You put more faith into yourself. You allow yourself to leave your comfort zone and reach for your dreams because you believe you can reach them.
6. Gratitude improves your overall health.
When you love your life, you will take the proper steps to ensure it lasts as long as possible. You will exercise. You will eat healthier. You will schedule doctor appointments. You will cut back on fast food, cigarettes, and alcohol. You will make sure you are treating your body right.
7. Gratitude increases self-esteem and eliminates self-doubt.
When you realize how lucky you are, you are not going to enter new situations with the worst case scenario in mind. You are going to think more positive. You are going to assume everything is going to work out for the best. That positive way of thinking is going to give you more confidence. It is going to make you feel like you can handle anything.
8. Gratitude reduces your stress, which results in a greater sense of peace.
When you stop thinking about everything that can go wrong and start focusing on everything that has gone right, you will feel a lot less stressed than usual. When you are relaxed, you will have an easier time falling asleep and will feel more well-rested in the morning. This will put you in a better mood, making it easier for you to practice gratitude the next day. It will create a positive, ongoing cycle.
9. Gratitude makes you less selfish and more involved in your community.
Gratitude makes you more eager to give back. Since you realize there are more important things than how much money you have saved, you will be more willing to share your wealth. You know you have more than enough to give, so you will not hesitate to help someone who needs it more than you.
10. Gratitude increases your productivity during your workday.
Gratitude puts you in a better mood. It lifts your energy levels. It increases your self-esteem. This makes it easier for you to get work done throughout the day. When you believe you are capable of finishing a project, it is much easier to follow through on the goal because self-doubt is not slowing you down.
11. Gratitude helps you make and maintain friendships.
If you complain about the same set of problems each time you talk to a friend, they are going to lose interest in hanging out with you. However, when you practice gratitude, you will be in a better mood every time you see them. You will have more positive stories to tell and more positive encouragement to share. Your positivity will rub off on them and they will thank you for it.
12. Gratitude gives you happiness that lasts a lifetime.
There are some small things — like drinking alcohol and getting likes on a selfie — that will provide fleeting happiness. However, practicing gratitude will give you happiness that is sustainable. It will give you happiness that lasts.