Gratitude helps us appreciate who and what fulfills our lives. But growing research also shows gratitude’s benefits stretch beyond feeling good. It improves our health, relationships with other people, and our financial well-being.
Here are three ways that practicing gratitude will improve your financial well-being.
There are parts of our lives we have little to no control over, which sometimes means our financial situation. Gratitude reminds us to look at our life in abundance where we can and who helps us feel that fulfillment.
Dr. Robert Emmons is a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis, and a leading researcher in the science of gratitude. He explains in his book that gratitude is effective in two ways. First, it asks us to acknowledge gifts we receive, like new job opportunities or a chance to spend time with a loved one. Second, it helps us recognize who gives us those gifts, like someone in your life or good luck.
The effect? Gratitude encourages patience – because you’re taking stock of what you have and what makes you feel fulfilled. That allows you to focus on forward-moving goals, like financial planning, instead of what you don’t have.
Research also shows that gratitude is most effective when shared with others. This is especially true in the workplace, like thanking employees and colleagues.
Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups to solicit donations. One group made phone calls as they always did. The second group — working on a different day — heard a pep talk from the Annual Giving Director and told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their work. The next week, the employees who listened to the gratitude message called 50% more fund-raising prospects than those who did not.
Gratitude helps people feel connected and appreciated, which allows them to thrive in their environment.
Gratitude takes practice
Positivity and gratitude are not everyone’s default view of the world. And there are many ways to be mindful of your finances. But gratitude is a skill, and to be effective, it must be practiced regularly.
Want to learn how to make gratitude a daily practice? Listen to our episode of Dream, Plan, Live.