Practicing gratitude regularly has been shown to impact how people make decisions about their finances in countless ways. Taking the time to personally express gratefulness can truly transform your finances and your life. Find out 6 ways gratitude can positively impact your financial situation and several ways you can start practicing gratitude today.
1. Gratitude Reduces Impulse Buying
Over half of Americans have made an impulse purchase over $100, according to a CreditCards.com survey. Impulse buying is the act of purchasing something without planning in advance. The candy bars and magazines along the checkout lane invite people to make these impulse purchases. Practicing gratitude can reduce impulse buying because being more grateful can actually improve our emotional reasoning regarding purchases and help us act more rationally.
2. Gratitude Helps Avoid Lifestyle Inflation
The concept of hedonic adaptation or the hedonic treadmill has been written about by numerous people since at least the 1600s. The idea is that humans tend to return to a stable level of happiness after positive or negative life changes. It explains why lottery winners months later report feeling the same level of happiness as prior to winning or why you may feel similarly shortly after receiving a pay raise.
This concept is the cause of lifestyle inflation or lifestyle creep, which is our constant desire for a bigger house, a nicer car and the newest iPhone. Even once we have what we’ve been wanting, we soon find ourselves feeling the same desire for the next thing. By practicing gratitude regularly you can help cultivate contentment. Feeling content with your lifestyle can help you avoid lifestyle inflation and feel grateful for the situation you are currently in. Thus, gratitude can help you escape the constant hamster wheel of wanting more and spending more money.
3. Gratitude Promotes An Abundance Mindset
“If you look at what you have in life, you will always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you will never have enough.” Oprah Winfrey
Have you ever heard of the terms “abundance mindset” and “scarcity mindset?” An abundance mindset is the belief that there is enough money and happiness for everyone. This is in contrast to the scarcity mindset that holds that life’s resources are scarce and finite and by accumulating money you are taking it from someone else. Many people strongly support both mindsets, but gratefulness in particular helps promote the abundance mindset.
The abundance mindset helps people go beyond their ego and fears about money. It puts jealousy and criticism aside so that we feel more positive and supportive of everyone’s well being and are better suited to achieve success. Incorporating gratitude in your life can help you develop an abundance mindset because you focus on what you have rather than what you want that others have.
4. Gratitude Helps You Think About Money In The Long-term
Feelings of gratitude have been proven to help people resist the need for instant gratification and promote financial patience. Participants in a study were asked to write about an event in their past that made them feel grateful, happy or neutral. They were then presented with the choice of receiving an amount of money now or a larger amount in 80 days. It was found that the group that practiced gratitude was more patient and resisted the instant gratification for the long-term gains compared to the other groups.
The feeling of fulfilment brought on by practicing gratitude can help you save more money in the long-term and plan for larger purchases rather than splurge now and experience consequences.
5. Gratitude Supports Good Health
Practicing gratitude has many benefits, but research shows that it can actually improve your health and prevent you from spending more on healthcare.
Psychologists Emmons and McCullough did a study where they had participants write about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. Another group was asked to write about daily irritations and the last group wrote about events that affected them (with no positive or negative connotation). After just 10 weeks the psychologists found that the group that practiced gratitude not only reported feeling happier and more optimistic than the others, but they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians.
6. Gratitude Helps Develop Resilience
We all make mistakes, whether it is financially, professionally or personally. What’s important is our ability to recover from setbacks. Resilience is the power to recover from difficulties and bounce back. A resilient approach to life helps us see that life isn’t working against us and promotes growth and optimism.
Regular gratitude practice can help us develop resilience by fostering the “count your blessings” mindset and help us get unstuck when challenges arise.
How To Practice Gratitude
There are many ways to practice gratitude, so you should find the method that works best for your life. Try to set aside a few minutes each day to devote to gratefulness.
You can keep a gratitude journal and write down what made you feel grateful each day. Alternatively you can simply think about what you are thankful for each day and incorporate it in your morning or nightly routine or meditation practice. It can be anything from enjoying your meal with your partner to taking a nice walk. You can even try writing a thank you note to someone you appreciate in your life on a regular basis.
The evidence is clear – practicing gratitude has a significant impact on your finances and your life as a whole. So how will you start practicing gratitude? Let us know in the comments!
Changing your thinking from negative to positive also has many impacts on your life, read our article, 5 Ways Positive Thinking Can Change Your Life, to learn more.
Want to measure your financial health? Find out how to measure your personal financial health and how to improve it in this article.
This article was originally published on TheLoadedPig.com.