If someone were to ask me “What is one outcome that you prioritize with each of your clients?”, I would reply every time, “Gratitude!” I am not thinking of gratitude toward me or our organization, but instead, a deep and profound gratitude for how amazingly they have been created, and for the incredible future that lies before them.
Why gratitude? In my book, The Language of Blessing, I identified six benefits of gratitude:
- Gratitude releases us from the bondage of comparison.
- Gratitude frees us from false humility.
- Gratitude enables us to let go of unfounded expectations.
- Gratitude empowers us to say, “No, thank you” without experiencing false guilt.
- Gratitude sets us free to love.
- Gratitude empowers us to be who God called and created us to be.
In addition to the above list, I can now add the following benefits of gratitude:
- Gratitude empowers us to humbly embrace mutually beneficial relationships.
- Gratitude helps us trust others and to build trust with others.
- Gratitude provides better physical health. People who are grateful experiences less stress and anxiety. They sleep better. They also take better care of their physical well-being.
- Gratitude provides better psychological health. Grateful people experience less toxic emotions, such as resentment, bitterness, envy and grudges.
- Gratitude provides more and better friends. Gratitude is attractive and people are much more open to form relationships with and spend time with people who express authentic gratitude.
Today, many wise people consider the character trait of gratitude as the mother of all character strengths. Out of gratitude flows the character traits of humility, love, caring, kindness, social intelligence, and empathy.
I have just scratched the surface with this brief list of the benefits of gratitude. What benefits would you add to this list?
What are you most grateful for today? One of the activities that I encourage many of my clients to do is to create a gratitude journal and at the end of every day write three things they are grateful for today. The impact on their lives has been amazing!
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