Recently, I’ve been trying something new. I’m keeping a tally of how many times I say thank you a day. This probably seems weird and silly. However, the idea came to me during an argument with my husband. Somewhere between the back and forth he pointed out that he thanks me way more than I thank him. I wasn’t sure how true this was and decided to keep track.
After everything had calmed down, I actually thought about it. I thank people all the time. Servers, people who hold the door open for me, worker’s I interact with, but how often was I really thanking the people around me? Had I gotten to the point where I expected the kind things my friends and family did so I just ignored their kindness?
That’s when I decided (in a not spiteful way) to seriously keep track of how often I was thanking people. i hate to say that it started off as a really low number. I didn’t like how low it was, so I started consciously reminding myself, “say thank you”, over and over. While it’s only been a short time, I’ve been thanking people more and more, and I’m feeling way more positive.
It’s not so much just saying “thank you” that’s making me feel better though. It’s the feeling of gratitude and expressing it. Gratitude is a really great thing. If you’re looking to make a real positive change in your life, then give gratitude a try. Here are some of the ways that gratitude can improve your life.
Gratitude makes you more optimistic. When you’re grateful you’re focusing on the positive things around you and in your life. You’re the half-glass full person, not the glass half empty one.
When you’re looking at your current life in a positive way, you’re more likely to look at the future in a positive way. You’re not dreading the things to come. You’re welcoming them and looking forward to them.
This goes hand in hand with optimism.. Being positive makes you more inclined to be happy. I’m not saying gratitude is a cure to your sadness. It can however, make you more likely to be happy.
Once again, seeing and focusing on the positive, being grateful for it, just naturally leads to more happiness. It’s you sending out good things and receiving good back.
It’s a lot easier to be friends with the person who is more cheerful and who is thankful that you are around them. No one wants to feel like they are unneeded. People want to feel needed and appreciated.
By expressing gratitude to your friends and family, you are helping reassure them that you see the efforts that they make and appreciate it. By expressing gratitude to strangers, you are doing the same thing, but also making it more likely for them to want to continue a relationship with you (friendship wise).
Gratitude isn’t about you. It’s about focusing on others and what they are doing. By practicing gratitude frequently and consistently you will start becoming less self-centered.
Gratitude is all about pro-social behavior. While you’re seeing all this good in the world, you’re more than likely feeling the need to share this goodness with others. It may be something as small as smiling at others when you’re out and about. You may also be more willing to help in other ways (donations, giving someone a ride home, etc.).
Being grateful helps you not only sleep better, but helps you be overall a more healthy person. When you’re not practicing gratitude and you’re laying down to go to sleep, you may have a bunch of different thoughts running around your head. Various worries or disappointments from the day. Being grateful helps you remember the good and it’s much easier to fall asleep that way.
Sleep is so, so, so important to us. It’s when your body recharges and gets ready for the next day. So, by practicing gratitude, you sleep better, which in turn helps you become healthier.
These are a few of the ways that being grateful can improve your life. It may not cure all your problems, but it’s a step in the right direction. If you want some more information on the benefits of gratitude you may want to check out this article.
What are some of the ways that you practice gratitude or are you new to it like I am? Let me know in the comment section below! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!