Grateful, Gratitude or Thankful, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving?
It’s pretty much all the same to me. I use Gratitude and Grateful, but if you like Thankful better – go for it.
Anyone who has followed me on Facebook knows that I do a gratitude post every week, on Sunday or Monday usually, and have been doing it for 275 weeks (more than 5 years!).
When I started out, it just seemed like a good idea. A friend, Colleen, had been doing it, and she still is, so I decided to copy her:). And I have no plans to stop. Not only do I get a lot of comments about it, I have learned how powerful this habit can be in my life. And I challenge YOU to do your own gratitude project – whether online or offline, it’s up to you!
Real quick, right now, think of someone or something that you feel really grateful for. It could be your children, your partner, your health, or the work you do. If you can’t think of anything – look around, and be thankful for the home you live in, the roof over your head, or even the device you are reading this on. Got something? Great – you have just done your first gratitude project!
Why should you do a Gratitude Project? I did a bit of research, and was surprised at some of these benefits, some not so surprising. Here are just a few. If you want the full list, send me a quick message and I will send them to you.
1. Gratitude makes us happier
When we are in a grateful mood, we will feel gratitude more frequently. We notice more things to be grateful for, and we actually become happier and more satisfied with life. Related to this is a decrease in stress, and an increase in self esteem!
2. Gratitude makes people like us
Think about it: Would you rather hang around with people who practice gratitude – that is they appreciate people and things, and as in #1, they are happier – or hang around with people who always complain and see the negative in everything? Easy answer, right?
According to the reference I found:
Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make and keep relationships with friends, and family.
3. Gratitude makes us healthier
I didn’t know this one, but according to research, Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people. They are also more likely to take care of their health and exercise more often. There is even reason to believe gratitude can extend your lifespan by months or even years.
And grateful people sleep better, too, which also helps our health. Instead of counting sheep – try counting your blessings!
4. Gratitude boosts our career (surprise!)
Gratitude makes you a more effective manager, helps you network, improves your decision-making skills, increases your productivity, and so, gratitude helps you achieve your career goals, as well as making your workplace a more friendly and enjoyable place to be.
5. Gratitude makes us more optimistic
The act of gratitude is the act of focusing on the good in life. If we perceive our current life to have more good, we will also expect our future life to have more good. Optimism is correlated with gratitude.
How to do a Gratitude Project
There are many ways to do a gratitude project – it could be a book/journal, a post on Facebook, a stack of index cards, a document on your computer, or just thinking about it. However, I believe having it somewhere you can refer to is valuable – re-reading it just compounds the benefits of gratitude! And if you are having a less than grateful day, reading those simple gratitudes will boost your mood. You can even get an app on your phone!
I believe the key is to do it regularly. I actually jot down 3 things daily that I am grateful for, then at the end of the week I share my favourites on Facebook. I challenge you to try it!
I found a list of 31 benefits – if you want that, send me a message or comment below.