Gratitude - grateful for this beautiful picture!

The Definition…

Before I dive into what I’m grateful for, I want to start with the definition of gratitude.

Gratitude is “a feeling of appreciation or thanks.” – Merriam Webster Dictionary

A feeling of appreciation or thanks to a neighbor, a friend, family member or even to a stranger. It’s that feeling of calmness and reminder that you’re (I’m) okay because…well you at least have something to be grateful for.

 

What I’m Grateful For…

I could likely go on for days (good, right?) Maybe. It’s of course positive for me to walk through everything (or much of what) I am grateful for – however, it would likely be better to go through a few things I’m grateful for – and reflect, daily. It’s a goal of mine 🙂

  1. Family
  2. My Other Half
  3. Friends
  4. Faith
  5. Food
  6. Shelter
  7. Trees
  8. Blue skies
  9. Autumn
  10. Job
  11. Ability to learn, read, write
  12. Blogging
  13. Travel
  14. Wind
  15. Running
  16. Health
  17. Sleeping for a solid eight hours
  18. Smoothies
  19. Pictures
  20. Technology

Yes, this is a short list…but these are some of the things I’m grateful for just in this instance. I encourage each of you to try to jot down or at least reflect on what you are grateful for every day.

If you’re interested in learning more about gratitude, I’m continuously inspired by Rich as Kings. In addition, if you ever want a good Gratitude-based book, check out “The Book of Awesome.”

Why? Well, here are some perks of gratitude.

 

Perks of Gratitude…

Gratitude is most commonly discussed between Thanksgiving and Christmas – or simply around the holidays. Many use the words “Thank You” with an absent mind. How many of us, checkout at the grocery store, only to have the person checking us out hand us our receipt and say “Have a nice day”? And to that we respond, “Thanks, you too.”

Many studies have shown that writing down a few things or reflecting on even one thing you are grateful for every day of the year causes significant health improvements as well as much less daily stress. Less stress means for a less likely chance of developing heart disease and other illnesses. But the perks are bigger and greater than just a lower level of stress.

Overall, consistent gratitude makes us happier. Those who reflect and act upon their gratitude are commonly more likely to feel good, be more resilient, have happier memories and be more relaxed.

Aside from emotional benefits, there are also personality benefits. Taking note of gratitude is likely to result in being less materialistic and being less selfish. Optimism and self confidence are two wonderful effects of practicing active gratitude.

From a social perspective, those who have more gratitude are more likely to be more social and overall more kind. They will have a healthier relationship with their significant other and will likely have many deeper and more long-lasting friendships.

Active gratitude practice also results in benefits to one’s career. They will see improvements in their efficiency, creativity and decision making. Gratitude will create an easier environment to network, too!

Finally, as previously stated, health and well-being is drastically affected by practicing active gratitude. It’s likely one would stress less, sleep more, eat better, exercise more, catch less illness and ultimately live a longer healthier life.

Gratitude is powerful. What does it mean to you? What are you grateful for? Do you have any gratitude habits? Share them with me in the comments below! 🙂