455: EXPRESSING GRATITUDE

“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception in to such an extent that it changes the world you see.” —Dr. Robert Holden

We’ve talked about showing thankfulness in other shows, but today we’re going to focus on the need we have as humans to express gratitude.

Do you know anyone who complains a lot? That could be any of us – there’s certainly plenty of tragedy today – but when someone chooses to acknowledge the positive around them, it may or may not impact the world, but it will impact the person.

The truth is that expressions of gratitude beget more observations of goodness, and the process becomes cyclical.

We want to challenge you to not worry about how your expression of thankfulness will be received, give it anyway.

There are many identified benefits to the giver of gratitude, some of which are highlighted here.

  1. Your relationships improve. If people know that you value them, they are more inclined to grow closer to you and establish a more meaningful relationship. You will also be able to become more empathetic as you shift your focus outward towards the needs of others.
  2. Better physical health. Research has shown that gratitude correlates to physiological benefits. Better sleep, less pain and more exercise.
  3. Perspective shift. When you look through the lens of gratitude you can persevere when you might otherwise be downcast. Being someone who is willing to step outside of the current and recognize the blessings will enable you to develop an optimistic and problem-solving attitude that others lack.

Tips for improving your “gratitude muscle”:

  • Keep a gratitude journal (Tony keeps a journal explicitly for this)
  • Share relevant information with your spouse
  • Get creative in how you express it. A spoken word is surely powerful, but a card, text, email, or act of service can sometimes be more impactful.
  • Be specific. Don’t say, “thank you for being a good husband”. People are more apt to internalize gratitude if it’s tied to a specific event or characteristic.
  • Create margin in your life. If you’re too busy with the daily tasks of life you need to set up a system where you pause to take inventory of the things you are grateful for.

We also want to thank you each of you who listen to and share the show with friends and family. Our goal is to reach those who need us all over the world, and decrease the divorce rate — and we can’t do that without you!

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