A simple “thank you” goes a long way to building your strength of character


I’ve used the term “attitude of gratitude” in previous posts. But, does your level of gratefulness really make such a difference to how you act?

There are studies that show that gratitude can actually influence your brain. Overall, keeping track of what you’re grateful for creates energy, determination, and enthusiasm – all of which makes you a stronger person.

On the contrary, negativity drains your energy and emotions.

But when you focus on gratitude, you get out of that downward spiral of negative feelings and thoughts. You bring back a positive outlook.

The benefits of being grateful

Just like mindfulness, gratitude is a rather trendy concept, and the benefits of practicing it regularly can be found all over the place.

So, what can being grateful bring to your table?

Well, gratitude can do this for you:
  • Improve your physical health
  • Open the door to more fruitful relationships
  • Greatly improve your psychological health
  • Help you get better quality sleep
  • Reduce aggression
  • Improve empathy
  • Increase mental strength
  • Boost your self-esteem
What does all this do together? Makes you a stronger person!

My Story

When I consciously started to practice gratitude it had a very positive impact on my life.

Before I adopted my attitude of gratitude, I was going through some difficult stuff. A friend of mine was terminally ill, my relationship wasn’t quite as solid as it could be, and I just wasn’t taking the best care of myself. I was caught in that trap we all know – not getting much exercise, not eating well, working far too hard, not sleeping, and just spiraling into more and more negativity.

I felt tired, overwhelmed, and I didn’t particularly like who I was.

However, I realized I needed to make some big changes. I didn’t really know where to start but one thing I picked up was that the word “gratitude” was popping up everywhere I looked. So, I started taking noticed and I was highly intrigued.

Sure, I was a little skeptical at first. I mean, how could something as simple as being grateful make a difference to the very core of who I am? But I was just curious enough to give it a go.

Over the next few months I was amazed and incredibly humbled by the impact practicing gratitude had on my life. Each day I began to feel a little calmer, more focused, and at peace. I even noticed my enthusiasm and energy levels starting to rise bit by bit.

I started sleeping better. I was motivated to exercise regularly. I felt joyful and light and I had incredible focus for my workload. I was less irritable, less stressed, and generally more content with everything and everyone.

My Two Biggest Lessons

There are two big things the art of gratitude has taught me:
  1. Gratitude opens the door to relationships
Saying “thank you” is just good manners, we know that. But genuinely showing appreciation can help you win a whole new circle of friends, according to studies. Researchers have found that thanking a new acquaintance means they’re more likely to seek out an ongoing relationship with you. Whether you say thank you to the stranger holding the door open for you or send a thank you text to the co-worker who helped you out with your presentation, acknowledging other’s contributions can open the door to a whole new world of opportunities.
  1. Gratitude increases your strength – mentally
Research has shown that gratitude lessens stress and can play a big part in getting through trauma. However, a study found in Behavior Research and Therapy in 2006 found that war vets who had higher levels of gratitude actually experienced lower rates of PTSD.

Gratitude, I’ve found is a big contributor to resilience, and recognizing everything you have to be thankful for can foster major resilience.

I’m stronger because of gratitude

What practicing gratitude has taught me is that incorporating being grateful into your life is an easy decision for your well-being. It helps you make better choices, take good care of yourself, and just feel so much more empowered.

Best of all, the benefits never stop. Every day, even in the smallest ways, I continue to grow stronger and evolve, for that I am truly grateful.


Image: Pexels