Why Gratitude is Essential for You and Your FinancesNovember 21, 2022
If you’ve ever met a person who practices gratitude, chances are you were touched by their warmth and kindness. Whether we’re living in the best of times or worst of times, gratitude has a way of quietly enriching our lives. When we choose to cultivate gratitude, we gain the opportunity to becomegenuinely happier, healthier, more connected, and financially aligned.
If you’re ready to reset and reconnect with your deepest values, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, you’ll find:
- Why gratitude is the most powerful mindset
- How gratitude is tied to your finances
- Simple tips and practices for developing gratitude
Why gratitude is the most powerful mindset
As the ancient philosopher Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest virtue, but it is also the parent of all other virtues.”
The reason that gratitude is so powerful is that it allows us to see the value in life, no matter our circumstances. Even in tough times, gratitude allows us to acknowledge that life is challenging and beautiful. We can say, “Things are hard right now,” and we can say, “There’s a lot to be grateful for in my life.”
There are so many ways to access your gratitude in daily life. Perhaps you notice the kindness shown by a supportive coworker, or a new friend invited you over for dinner. Maybe it’s as simple as feeling gratitude for the roof over your head. No matter how big or small your gratitude, making a habit of reflecting on gratitude can make you feel more connected, more resilient, and more motivated to live in alignment with your values.
Gratitude’s profound ripple effect might surprise you. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. People who feel grateful are also more likely to feel positive emotions, enjoy good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Whether you’re speaking to a wise neighbor or a neuroscientist, the conclusions are the same: practicing gratitude grows more gratitude.
How gratitude is tied to your finances
While it’s normal to feel anxiety when managing your finances, it doesn’t have to be this way. Practicing gratitude can help us reset and relax, empowering us to approach our money with curiosity instead of fear. When we approach our finances with acceptance and curiosity, we discover that money is a powerful tool that can provide us with immense opportunity.
When it comes to our finances, cultivating an attitude of gratitude can help us:
- Feel greater satisfaction with our existing material possessions
- Focus on long-term, values-based decision-making, like investing in our education or saving for retirement
- Reduce impulse-based financial decisions, which helps us save money
- Achieve financial independence by saving and investing our money
- Enjoy a comfortable retirement thanks to our long-term planning
When we align our money with our mindset, we become motivated to create effective financial plans that align with our values.
Simple tips and practices for developing gratitude
Cultivating gratitude is a practice that takes time, but the time we spend can truly pay off.
Before you get started, remember these tips for developing gratitude:
- Focus on the practice, not the payoff. The payoff will come, but only if you genuinely dig into the practice of cultivating gratitude.
- Start off small. Take a moment to feel gratitude for your warm cup of tea or the crunch of fall leaves under your feet. Delicious, isn’t it?!
- Dedicate to the habit of gratitude. This mental state grows stronger with use and practice, and it begins to permeate in ways you might not expect.
- Be patient and kind to yourself. Remember, the goal is to genuinely connect with the people, experiences, and things we’re grateful for. It’s natural for it to feel contrived sometimes. Feel free to rest your mind and try again, or reconnect later. Eventually, you will find something that inspires gratitude, however small.
Here are some ways you can explore cultivating gratitude:
- Thank someone mentally. Whether it’s the friendly cashier at the grocery store or an old friend you haven’t seen in a while, it’s likely that someone has made life a little sweeter.
- Send someone a thank you note. Perhaps your neighbor watered your plants while you were on vacation. Maybe your friend’s sense of humor never fails to put a smile on your face. Share your appreciation with the people who light you up! Random acts of kindness offer emotional nourishment to both you and the recipient.
- Meditate. Mindfulness meditation gives us an opportunity to focus on our present moment without judgment. While many forms of meditation can help tap into gratitude, “metta” meditation focuses on finding gratitude for others. Apps can help make this into a regular practice, anywhere and everywhere.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share your thoughts with a loved one about your gratitude daily or weekly.
Gratitude is present in all of us. Develop your gratitude practice, and tap into the surprising joys of this precious mindset.
Let us help uplift you and your finances
Little by little, gratitude opens our eyes to something beautiful that we can’t unsee. Author Melody Beattie captures gratitude’s transformative power: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
SWM is here to be your stranger-turned-friend, your trusted support system that brings order to chaos.