It’s about time for the conversation, don’t you say? Is there ever a bad time to celebrate the choice we have, though? It’s as grand as it is simple—and that is, our chance to select the attitude of being grateful. The fact is, no matter how distant we feel from our ability to ground ourselves with ease, gratitude will always remain a choice.
Choosing to be grateful regardless of what is happening is a skill, tool, coping mechanism, and if you ask me—a power move.
1. Expands Perception
What is your mood related to, if not your perception? How about your ability to rise above tough situations? What about seeing the best or worst in someone? So much data gets processed by our brains daily and forms the makeup of our perception. This perception serves as how we orient our beings from everything to how we interpret a compliment to how we might vote in an election. Perception is about the information we gather, but more critically, what we make of that information.
Essentially, two people can process the same information and have opposing opportunities when it comes to what they draw from it. In other words, your perception is the opportunity you can create for yourself. Gratitude works something like a glass cleaner for your perception, polishing it where cloudy.
2. Attract Positivity
While gratitude can aid in a more positive perception, it interacts with positive energy in an even bigger way. Being grateful for the countless blessings in your life can attract more of them, and it’s not a hoax. It’s all in the cycle of influence.
You choose to gravitate toward the influences you most identify with, and if that is decidedly positive ones, your perception will physically open the gates to more positivity. Not only will you witness an increased abundance of it, but you will make way for more by disabling the blockage of negative perception. Not to mention, positive people tend to gravitate to other positive people.
3. Lessen Stress
Just as a lack of gratitude can contribute to stress, a surge in gratefulness can help to kick it. Stress is an unfortunate part of our existence, but not if we can help it. High amounts of stress cause the body to release the stress hormone cortisol. When this hormone is released, it causes an imbalance in the body that may be regulated by gratitude. Feelings and expression of gratitude may release positive feeling hormones oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin.
Relatedly, adopting a heightened state of gratitude, can physically lower blood pressure, which is often increased by stress.
4. Enhance Empathy
There is something to be said about gratitude and emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence involves the ability to read between the lines and beyond your perceptions to grasp the reality that others experience. It is the capacity to do so with conviction and compassion. Part of emotional intelligence is our ability to empathize with others. When you’re focusing on being grateful for all of the good things happening, you’re in a better place to deal with the emotions of others that require understanding.
5. Elevate Self-Esteem
The way you feel about yourself and project your identity outward can be impacted by gratitude. Your self-esteem, or your sense of value and self-worth, can be boosted by taking active recognition of its presence.
You have every reason to feel grateful for the opportunity to self-reflect and self-soothe with the adoption of a mindset. If nothing else about who you are and what you do prompts you to feel grateful, being conscious of your privilege to influence your self-esteem with gratitude is powerful.
6. Speed Emotional Recovery
Another mental tool of mental health and is what gratitude can do for your ability to recover emotionally. Emotional recovery is necessary on both a small and large scale. It’s how we cope with the emotional dealings of life, and as you probably know, GR8 friend, we all struggle with them.
Many times, refining this skill can be the extra support you need to meet your goals. Choosing to be grateful might ensure that you bounce back from obstacles quicker and recover with more grace.
7. Promote Gut Health
Gut health, or the function of your digestive system and how it affects the body, can too, be impacted by gratitude. The activity of the gut-brain axis can explain it. If your brain signals your body that everything is working smoothly and that you’re calm, your gut will follow suit. Additionally, stress and gut have quite a tumultuous relationship. Given gratitude’s effectiveness in fighting stress, it is also an advocate for the digestive system.
8. Manage Relationship Difficulties
It’s the stuff that romance novels and films are made of. How often do we see a change of heart depicted as a result of a change in perception? Just as often, that change in perception is triggered by some event that causes one person to view another in a new, grateful, and positive light. This principle can work exceptionally well for mending relationships where able. Gratitude has a way of enabling forgiveness, which is often the gap between two people.
9. Get Better Sleep
Forget letting all of the things you’re worried about disrupting your sleep. Instead, condition your mind to consider and process the things that you’re grateful for, and make you feel happy. It turns out, doing so can enable longer, more refreshing sleep according to research conducted by psychologist Robert Emmons.
These are common, if not somewhat instant benefits of being someone who can cut through the fog of everyday life with a grateful resilience. Practicing gratitude will always serve you well, and it is as easy as deciding.