Ten reasons why should learn to express your gratitude

Before I began writing for a living, I thought that a lot of what was written in motivational books and websites was just so much mumbo jumbo. Then, however, I was employed by someone to write on a regular basis for an advice website and I found myself having to pay more attention to such topics. Much to my surprise, I found that some of this mumbo jumbo actually makes sense, if you take time to read it properly. One such topic was the importance of showing gratitude for the things that you do have, rather than stressing over what you don’t.

Whether you thank God, write a gratitude journal, or simply take five minutes to remind yourself of the things that you should be thankful for, it really does help keep life in perspective and keep the depression at bay. 

You can become so wrapped up in your job and making money that you forget about the small yet important things in life, so read these ten good reasons why it is important to say thank you, for the small blessings that you have.

1. It reduces your stress levels
If all you do is to focus all your efforts on the problems and the hassles of life, you are inevitably going to suffer from stress. Seriously, forget that you missed that deadline at work and be grateful you have a job. One late piece of work won’t kill your entire career, now will it?

2. It makes you a kinder person
Saying thank you more often actually makes you think about other people more. Because you begin to realise that a simple kind gesture by another towards you, is something to be grateful for, you will be more inclined to be nice to others.

3. It makes you a better solver
When you take more time to see the good things that you have, it makes you more determined to have more of the same. A research team found that people who keep lists of the things they are grateful for were better at reaching their own personal goals.

4. You will sleep better
Don’t count sheep, when you can’t sleep, count your blessings instead. If you try and go to sleep thinking about only about the problems in your life, you are going to have a sleepless night. If you balance those problems out with the good things in life, you will sleep far more soundly.

5. It can improve your relationships
This is one I can relate to because if you don’t appreciate your partner, then you run a good chance of losing them. Seriously, when was the last time you thought about how lucky you are to have your partner, or even a friend? Think about it more often, and you are more likely to show them that you care.

6. People will do more for you
Expressing your gratitude to other people will, of course, encourage them to do things for you again. This applies to when you work as a team for your job, or when a friend does you a favour. Either way, showing them that you are grateful is not only polite; it will also get you more in the future.

7. You feel more like you are in control
Gratitude also brings you optimism and with that, you begin to feel that you are more in control of your own life. When you think more about the things that you have achieved, rather than those that you haven’t you will see that your efforts have been rewarded and it is all worthwhile.

8. You will stop being such a pessimist
If you take time every day to recap on the good things that have happened, you stop assuming the worst all the time. There will always be negative things that happen to us, but expressing gratitude can help you take a more balanced view.

9. You will be happier
I’m not suggesting that you keep a daily diary or any other such thing, but research has shown that people that do keep gratitude journals are 25% happier than those who don’t. I don’t keep a journal and, sometimes, I do have to remind myself to be grateful, but making the effort to think about the things that I can be thankful for has certainly helped me with my own depression.

10. Try it and see
A lot of what I would have used to have dismissed out of hand as being just mumbo jumbo, tree hugging, hippy talk, has actually proven to have some justification. If you are feeling a bit low, or under pressure, try writing down ten of the things that you can be grateful for. You could start with the fact that you are alive and then, work from there. You might even be surprised at how long your list is.