American Thanksgiving is a time to be mindful of what we are grateful for, and ideally, to share this with others! But the truth is, we can practice gratitude all year long.
You probably already know that gratitude feels good to experience, but let’s take a look at five unexpected ways that cultivating an attitude of gratitude can benefit your life (and the lives of those around you) during this holiday season!
BENEFIT #1: There’s Always Something to Be Grateful For… and Gratitude Makes You Feel Good!
If you are reading the words on this page, then you have something to be grateful for.
You are living, breathing and taking the time to read something that will hopefully inspire you and, by means of that, doing something good for yourself! This alone is cause enough for gratitude. And more than likely, there are plenty of other things in your life to be grateful for too!
For example: right now, you can be grateful for having a roof over your head, fresh water to drink, having a job, friends, family, hobbies and so on.
Check out my 18 absolute favorite gratitude quotes here.
You can also look for small things in your life to be grateful for, too ‒ because they add up! Perhaps you can be grateful for the delicious cup of coffee in front of you, the fact that it’s a sunny day, or that you found a great parking spot just when you needed one.
The more things you find to be grateful for, the more joy and positivity you will experience in your life.
You can even practice gratitude for things that at first seem unlikely to be grateful for…
For example, no one likes carrying heavy groceries up the stairs. But what if you shifted your perspective to one of gratitude for you having the physical ability to walk up the stairs? Or for the delicious food you are bringing home? How would you feel then?
You have the power to decide how you view the world around you.
This week, as we celebrate American Thanksgiving, I highly encourage you to find something you can be grateful for multiple times a day, every day, and notice the positive benefits of gratitude you will enjoy.
BENEFIT #2: Gratitude Can Help You Move Through Adversity More Quickly and Easily
Practicing gratitude regularly does not mean you are not acknowledging aspects of your life that may feel difficult for you. Life can sometimes be challenging! But know that there’s a power within you that’s far greater than any circumstance, situation or condition you will ever face!
Financial woes, serious illness, painful loss –these are all very real and challenging circumstances you may encounter over the course of your life, or that you may be grappling with now. And it’s okay, and natural, to feel fear, doubt and worry!
But by turning your awareness to what you can feel grateful for, even during times of adversity, you can often pass through difficult times much more easily, and emerge stronger and happier on the other side.
One of the greatest benefits of gratitude is using it to learn from your mistakes. You can practice gratitude for the learning opportunities or mindset changes that result from challenging situations!
Perhaps you made a mistake at work or in a personal relationship, for example. Instead of getting down on yourself, try being grateful for what you have learned and how you have grown from the experience.
This may be easier said than done, but gratitude is a mindset we can choose in reaction to circumstances we can’t necessarily control.
BENEFIT #3: Gratitude Is a Natural Confidence Booster!
Every single one of us has a negative inner critic. This is just part of the human condition!
However, in each and every moment, you have the power to shift your awareness toward what you love about yourself and your life (instead of what you don’t).
When you engage in negative self-talk, you will find more and more things to criticize yourself over. If you notice that you’re picking on yourself, one of the ways to pull yourself out of this is to focus on your strengths and blessings. Remember: You are the architect of your own experience!
Your preconceived notions about who you are and what you think you deserve directly impact your ability to create a life you truly love living. By replacing self-defeating internal dialogue with thoughts of gratitude, you put yourself on the path to believing that you are worthy and deserving of manifesting your greatest goals and dreams.
And one of the benefits of gratitude then, is that it can help you increase your self-worth. It’s a cycle: the more gratitude you express instead of criticism, the more positivity you will attract into your life, which will increase your self-worth… which will increase your overall vibration of gratitude!
BENEFIT #4: Gratitude Amplifies Your Abundance
One of the central truths of the Law of Abundance is that the more you are grateful for what you already have, the greater abundance you will attract into your life.
It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have, often believing that this will help motivate you to gain more of whatever you seek, whether that be financial abundance, closer and more loving relationships and golden job opportunities.
But the truth is, you can focus on both what you do have and what you don’t have, which can help direct your attention toward what you’d love to attract more of.
BENEFIT #5: Gratitude Deepens Your Spiritual Practice
A common misconception about gratitude is that it simply involves saying please and thank you – that it means leaving a gracious tip, or sending a thank you note for a nice gift. Obviously these things are kind gestures that we should not dismiss the importance of!
But gratitude isn’t just about being polite or having good manners… it is a deeper, more profoundly spiritual experience than that.
You and I live in a truly giving Universe, and gratitude as a real, spiritual practice recognizes this to be true in all circumstances.
You may tend to say “I am grateful for” something. For example, “I am grateful for my family.” Or “I am grateful for my nice house.” And this is wonderful! It’s great to feel and express gratitude for what we have.
But a more transcendent way of experiencing gratitude is to practice the mindset of “I am grateful IN.” This means being grateful right now, right where you are, regardless of what you do or don’t have or what life looks like for you right now.
When practicing gratitude, try shifting your perspective to feel grateful in any circumstance. Practice being grateful in times of joy and abundance, as well as in times of struggle and lack – this is the key to spiritual gratitude that will absolutely unlock everything the Universe has to bestow upon you!
The Universe grants us what we receive directly in proportion to our willingness to receive it.
The difference between successful people living lives of abundance and joy, and those who may feel stuck or lacking, is that highly successful individuals practice gratitude regularly and sincerely.
The benefits of gratitude are countless: greater self worth, greater abundance, greater freedom, and a greater connection to Infinite intelligence that runs through all things, including you and I.
Practicing gratitude, both for what we already have and for what we desire, is a powerful step to transforming your dreams into reality, and creating a life you truly love living.