Being Thankful Works Wonders for You, Including Your Money


It’s easy to lose focus when it comes to your money.

When you’re struggling to get your bills paid, stressing over retirement, worried about the kids paying for college — it’s a lot weighing on you and it can bring you down.

Even if you’re doing well you can lose focus.

With more money comes more desire for more stuff — bigger house, nicer car, wider TV…you know the drill.

That’s why gratitude is so important.

You need to appreciate what you have even if it doesn’t seem like a lot.

How Practicing Gratitude Will Improve Your Relationship With Money (and Other Aspects of Your Life Too!)

Practicing gratitude improves your relationship with money.

You have family and friends.

There are always people out there you can turn to and help support you, emotionally if not financially.  Your relationships with people are a precious commodity.  Be grateful for everyone you come across.

I know that may sound a bit hokey and new-agey but think about this — have you ever started off the day really miserable?  Me too.  But then all it takes is one act of kindness or smile from someone random and your whole attitude changes.  It’s magic.

For me, when things are stressful all it takes is one silly thing from the kids to change my mood (granted they may have been what initiated the stress but hey…).  It’s being mindful of gratitude that helps get me in that better mood.  It’s gratitude for every smile and laugh and silly thing they do that snaps me out of my funk.

You never know but that act of gratitude at work might be what gets you your next promotion.  Just saying.

You always have your mind, your skills, and your integrity.

No matter how much, or little, you make you can always make yourself richer.

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The abilities you have are yours and you can always improve on them.  These days it’s so easy to learn more and get better.  The internet and the library provide a wealth of knowledge that prior generations could only dream of having.  There are plenty of resources online to learn for free.  It’s all out there for you to take.  Be thankful for the opportunities you’ve had in your career both in the past and in your future.

Think you don’t have a lot?

Maybe your budget is tight.  Perhaps your finances aren’t quite where you want them to be.  You might be a little stressed about money overall.

Look, who isn’t?

But here’s something to consider — you’re in the 1%.

No, not the 1% in the United States that people talking about income disparity are referring to.  No, you’re in the 1% in the world.

And here’s where gratitude comes in — as tough as things are there are people in other parts of the world who have far less than you or I have.  There are people where food, water, and shelter are a struggle; people who are persecuted just because of how they were born.

Check out this site: www.globalrichlist.com

You enter your income and it will tell you how you rank in the world and what your income will buy in other places.  It’s eye-opening to see how rich we are compared to other societies.

And if you do have a lot then make sure you appreciate that.

Don’t get caught up in the whole Jones’ thing.  Life isn’t a grand competition to see who has the nicest stuff.  That consumerist mentality will never leave you happy for very long.  There’s always a new “thing” or an upgrade to make what you have out-dated.

Buying lots of stuff bogs you down.  You need to have a place for it all.  You need to maintain it all.  There are days I look around the house and can’t believe all the stuff we have.  Sometimes I feel the need to purge and become more minimalist.

But I appreciate that I’m fortunate for what my family and I have.  Every bit of it.  Maybe that sounds a bit spoiled?  I’m not perfect.  I know I don’t have all the means I want but I also realize I have a LOT.

On top of that research has shown that you will be happier with experiences than you will be with stuff.  Yes, you can spend a lot on experiences too but you can also have great experiences without dropping a lot of money as well.  It’s the experiences I have with my family and friends that have lasting impressions on me far more than any “thing” I’ve gotten.

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

Damn, the Beatles have a way of nailing it, don’t they?  It’s one of my favorite lines of theirs.

You get what you give, it’s pretty simple.  When you express gratitude for what you have and what’s in your life then you get that feeling in return.  But maybe more importantly it just makes you feel better to practice gratitude.

I spent a good part of my youth angry and cynical.  When I think back it wasn’t about anything in particular really.  Maybe I thought it helped make me who I am, you know?  I was the cool cynic.  Oooohhh!  But it didn’t get me anywhere.  It just pushed people away.  I can’t imagine how many connections and opportunites I’ve lost because of my attitude.  It was selfish.  There was no gratitude.

I study the Japanese martial art Aikido.  In the practice you want to give as much of yourself over to your partner as you can.  It’s an interesting philosophy.  Instead of fighting an opponent you let them throw you as best they can.  Sounds kind of strange perhaps but what actually happens is the better you get at being thrown, the more you give, the better you get at throwing.  Really.  There’s a gratitude and connection with the person you’re working out with that, when it’s at its height, puts you in a place far better than just the physicality of the workout.  It’s a kind of meditation.  I’m heading off into hokey territory again, aren’t I?

Ever have a boss tell you you did a great job on something when you totally didn’t expect it?  Makes you feel great doesn’t it?  It’s little things like that which change your perspective.

Gratitude leads to better health.

When you have gratitude you’re healthier mentally.  And physically.

It grounds you and puts you in a better mood.  This takes the stress of every day life down a notch or two.  Less stress can lead to better health.

Don’t believe me?  According to WebMD cultivating gratitude can lower stress, boost your immunity, and it can help you in times of loss.

It’s just that good for you!

Gratitude helps your relationship with money.

I hope you can piece together by now how practicing gratitude will help you and your relationship with money.

Be thankful for what you have and you’ll reduce stress, improve your relationships, be able to handle problems better, and be more mindful with your spending.  That’s some big stuff to get for just leading your day with thanks.

And so I end this on the right note — Thank you for reading Free From Broke!

What benefits have you seen by practicing gratitude?

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Published or updated November 26, 2014.

Comments

  1. There were a couple of articles on Yahoo recently about how showing gratitude and saying thank you makes you a happier person.

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