If you celebrate Thanksgiving, you’ve no doubt had a family member encourage everyone to go around the table and share something they’re grateful for. I mean, it’s built into the name itself, right? Even with all the uncertainty and difficulty 2020 has held, I’m entering this season with so much to be thankful for — getting engaged to the love of my life, having amazing family and friends, spending time with my pup Frankie, and having the support from my team! I could easily list any one of those things around the dinner table, but I don’t want to practice gratitude only once a year. Gratitude is something I choose to cultivate as a year-round mindset. Listing what we are grateful for is something we do around the dinner table every Friday night. Setting up a consistent gratitude practice has so many benefits and has been a major game changer! If you need a little convincing, here are three reasons why I choose to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
1. Gratitude is great for your overall health.
Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude not only report less physical pains than other people, they are also more likely to intentionally care for themselves through regular check-ups, movement and diet. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. who researches gratitude has conducted studies that have shown a correlation between gratitude and increased positive emotions. Also — grateful people sleep better! Who doesn’t love that?
2. Gratitude improves your self-esteem.
Grateful people have attuned themselves to appreciate, value and celebrate other people and their accomplishments rather than resent them. This means less comparing themselves — something that plays a huge role in self-esteem. Gratitude for others opens up the ability to feel self-gratitude as well, leading to a confident performance and decision-making.
3. Gratitude strengthens your mind.
Grateful people don’t have easier lives — they just intentionally train themselves to notice the things worth celebrating. This practice has been shown to decrease stress and also foster resilience in the midst of difficulty. Gratitude won’t fix trauma, but it can certainly enable you to face it with a different mindset.