“Spending two minutes a day being consciously, deliberately, mindfully grateful is perhaps THE secret to happiness and a longer life.”
~ Laszlo Bock, Google's Senior Vice President of People Operations
Do you take the time to express gratitude daily?
From corporate high-flyers to scientists to personal growth coaches, more and more experts are now extolling the virtues of being grateful.
But why? At its core, gratitude is a basic human trait that many anthropologists and psychologists would argue exists solely to encourage people to help each other.
And yet through today's latest science, we are now able to observe the true power of gratitude, which includes dramatic improvements to one's health, wealth, happiness, and even one's success with the Law of Attraction.
There is a challenge though: most people struggle to express gratitude regularly. And too often, our thoughts and emotions get clouded by self-doubt, negative spirals and a sense of lack - when what we should be striving for is an unbreakable Gratitude Mindset.
Our intention with this guide is to help you understand the incredible benefits of gratitude, and how to best enjoy these benefits through simple yet powerful tools, techniques and daily rituals you can start practicing immediately.
Are you ready to get your gratitude on? Let's begin with…
The Incredible Perks Of Gratitude, According To Science
"Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality."
~ Alfred Painter
Gratitude is a cornerstone of countless religions, civilizations and cultures. In fact, virtually everywhere on the planet, one of the first things a child is taught is to say "Thank You".
And so it's no surprise that philosophers, psychologists and scientists have been long fascinated by this uniquely human trait. What we now know, through a variety of studies and experiments, is that gratitude affects the brain and even the body in ways that go far beyond that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when “thank yous” are exchanged.
* Gratitude shields you from negativity
A joint study by the University of California and the University of Miami found that people who express gratitude daily tend to be more satisfied with what they have, and are far less vulnerable to negative emotions like disappointment, regret and frustration.1
* Gratitude makes you at least 25% happier
The same study also concluded that grateful people are typically 25% happier in all areas of life, are more optimistic about the future, and perform on average almost 1.5 hours more exercise a week.
* Gratitude rewires your brain
A neurological study published in the NeuroImage journal found that the human brain remains wired for gratitude and positivity, even months after performing a simple gratitude journaling task.2
* Gratitude eliminates stress
A study published in the Journal of Consulting And Clinical Psychology on a group of healthcare practitioners found that writing down daily gratitude events led to a marked reduction in stress and depressive symptoms.3
* Gratitude heals
A 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found that people who express regular gratitude tend to experience fewer aches and pains, exercise more, and report feeling healthier.4
* Gratitude improves sleep
According to a 2011 study in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, people who spend just 15 minutes writing in a gratitude journal end up enjoying deeper and longer sleep.5
* Gratitude boosts self-esteem & performance
In a study on a group of athletes in 2014, researchers found that gratitude notably enhanced their self-esteem, which in turn led to enhanced performance in the field.6
* Gratitude improves relationships
A 2012 study found that grateful people possessed higher empathy and lower aggression towards others - allowing them to connect better and forge deeper, more meaningful relationships.7
* Gratitude enhances the Law of Attraction
Another benefit of gratitude that you won't hear mainstream scientists talking about is how it gives you better results with the Law of Attraction. Why? The short answer is that gratitude keeps you focused on positive and high-vibrating thoughts, emotions and beliefs - which in turn allows you to attract equally high-vibrating outcomes, people and opportunities into your life.
Discover even more inspiring reasons to be grateful by discovering the 5 Benefits of Gratitude That Will Inspire You To Practice it Daily!
As you can see, gratitude elevates your life in so many wonderful ways! But before you can start enjoying all these perks, it's crucial you first understand…
The Challenges In Expressing Gratitude
“The word appreciate has two meanings. The first meaning is ‘to be thankful,’ the second meaning is ‘to increase in value’. Combined, these two meanings point to a truth that has been proved repeatedly in research on gratitude: when we appreciate the good in our lives, the good grows and we have more of it. The opposite, sadly, is also true: when we fail to appreciate the good—when we take the good in our lives for granted—the good depreciates.”
~ Tal Ben-Shahar
Most of us don't realize that expressing gratitude effectively goes significantly deeper than just saying “thank you” more often. To be more specific, an effective gratitude practice must contain the following ingredients:
You must express gratitude daily…
You must stay consistent over the long run…
You must keep yourself open to new things to be grateful for…
You must be specific about what you're grateful for (e.g. don't just say you're grateful because your best friend is wonderful - think about what makes them wonderful)...
And you must feel a deep emotional connection to everything you're grateful for.
The challenge? The vast majority of us find it hard to achieve the consistency, openness and emotional connectedness necessary to enjoy the full spectrum of benefits that gratitude brings.
Get 4 quick 'n easy ways for developing a gratitude attitude in 4 Unexpected Ways A Gratitude Attitude Can Change Your Life!
In fact, in a recent survey to the Mind Movies community, we learned that…
The good news is, it's easier than you might think to overcome these obstacles, and start consciously being grateful daily - as soon as you have access to...
Tools & Technologies For Being Grateful
"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."
~ John Milton
Through fields like mind science and personal growth, there is an abundance of tools and technologies you can use to make being grateful easier, more fulfilling and more fruitful.
Want a brief taste of our world-famous Mind Movies subconscious reprogramming technology? Check out this short gratitude video to become instantly happier.
Here are some of today's most effective ones, none of which take any more than a few short minutes a day:
One of the many benefits of meditation is that it helps you detach from the accumulated stress, anxiety and negative charges inside you, so your thoughts and emotions can be more in tune with gratitude.
Pro Tip: It is essential to have meditation as part of your daily routine so make sure to implement this technique into your schedule no matter how busy you are. The benefits are totally worth it.
By consciously visualizing the people, outcomes and situations that you're grateful for, you're training your subconscious mind to feel deeper gratitude for them, and you’re even allowing more of them into your life.
Pro Tip: One of the most important ingredients to a successful visualization practice is emotion. Don't just visualize the positive outcomes you want to create - but also visualize the emotions you'll feel once those outcomes become reality.
Affirmations are another way to retune your subconscious mind for a more grateful outlook and motivate yourself for success - and all you have to do is repeatedly recite a positive statement that aligns with your desired outcome.
Pro Tip: If you're creating your own affirmations, write them in the present tense. This way you're reassuring your mind that the contents of your affirmation are happening as fact - and it will then act accordingly.
- Brainwave entrainment
Brainwave entrainment is a sound technology that changes your brainwaves and guides your mind into an optimal state for positive transformation, deeper self-awareness and effortless gratitude.
Pro Tip: Brainwave entrainment has tremendous positive benefits on your creativity, learning and stress relief, and is one of the many gratitude-boosting technologies you can use daily.
- Subliminal audios
Audio tracks laced with subliminal messages are designed to reprogram your subconscious mind using hundreds of thousands of barely audible positive statements. The result is profound behavioral change on autopilot.
Pro Tip: Subliminal audios are a great choice if you're busy, because they work in the background - meaning you can be doing chores or even working while listening to them.
- Daily gratitude journal
When you start and/or end your day by writing what you're grateful for in a daily gratitude journal, you're training your mind to be constantly focused on things to be grateful for - every minute of every day.
Pro Tip: Many gratitude enthusiasts recommend writing down five things you're grateful for daily. This number is just enough to get your mind jogging, but not too much that it becomes a chore.
- Mind Movies
Mind Movies is a technology developed by our team that combines visualization, affirmations and uplifting sounds and imagery to help you accomplish any desired outcome - including a life empowered by unbreakable gratitude.
Pro Tip: Experience a brand new Mind Movie we've created to get you into a space of instant happiness.
Okay, so given that you're probably busy enough as it is, what's the best way to absorb tools and technologies like this into your daily life? Well that's where we move on to...
Creating Your Daily Gratitude Rituals
"Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough."
~ Oprah Winfrey
Over two decades ago, Oprah Winfrey decided to begin every day by writing down the five things she's most grateful for. Today she swears by this daily ritual; in fact, it's one of the most common pieces of advice she gives people.
Many of the world's most successful and fulfilled people have their own set of daily gratitude rituals. Some, like Oprah's, are simple one-step affairs. Others are more elaborate.
Even businesses are getting in on the gratitude game. For instance, Brown Paper Tickets, a ticketing company in Seattle, gives its employees 40 working hours to show their gratitude to the community through volunteer work - which in turn boosts their fulfillment and performance levels.
Over the years I've perfected my own routine of daily gratitude rituals, which consists of:
Daily gratitude journaling first thing when I wake up
Reciting what I'm grateful for as I walk my dog Bella in the later half of the morning
Reinforcing my Gratitude Mindset with affirmations throughout the day
Watching a Gratitude Mind Movie to put me into the state of positivity and flow
Consciously expressing gratitude for the lessons and growth opportunities in every situation I find myself in
Ending my day with a soothing gratitude-focused guided meditation
What kind of gratitude rituals will work best for you? And how much time should you commit to them each day?
The answer is to first experiment. Try some of the tools listed above. You might find you prefer guided meditations over visualization. Or maybe the quickness and simplicity of affirmations suit you more.
Don't be afraid to think outside the box as you keep trying new tools and techniques. Like instead of writing in a journal, what about writing your daily gratefuls on post-it notes, and sticking them up somewhere visible? Or how about starting every family dinner by having everyone at the table express one thing they're grateful for?
The daily gratitude rituals you decide to stick with should be ones that are sustainable for your lifestyle. Remember that sometimes less can be more, and biting off more than you can chew won't help you in the long run - especially if you already have a busy schedule as is.
It's also important that your daily gratitude rituals make you feel good about doing them: because if you don't look forward to them, they'll become chores - when you actually want for them to be the highlights of your day.
Speaking of feeling good… If you ever need reasons to be grateful for those around you (even your pets), you can find them everywhere, you just need to be constantly mindful and really present with those around.
Bear in mind that the definition of what's sustainable and what makes you feel good can change over time - so don't be afraid to keep evolving your rituals and how much time you spend on them, depending on how your life unfolds.
Finally, it's important to remember that turning any sort of daily ritual into a habit takes time - so just stay patient and persistent, and allow your mind to steadily adapt to the new practices, beliefs and emotions you want to adopt.
Once you've locked down your gratitude rituals, prepare for a massive positive transformation in every area of your life, as you step into...
Your New Gratitude Mindset
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Monk
Did you like the quotes throughout this article? Get enlightened with these best inspiring gratitude quotes here.
One of life's fundamental laws is that the more you do something, the more effortless it becomes.
An origami master can fold a sheet of paper into a crane almost without thinking about it. And once you begin embodying and expressing gratitude in your daily life, so too will it become effortless to live in a state of unshakeable thankfulness.
I call this heightened state, a 'Gratitude Mindset'. Like optimism or pessimism, it is a filter through which you perceive and interact with your world - and anyone can achieve it, as long as you stay persistent long enough with your daily gratitude rituals
Here's what you can expect to happen in the main areas of your life once you adopt a Gratitude Mindset:
Now, as a way to show you how grateful I am to have you in my life, I’d like to gift you something that’s going to help you achieve your goals so much faster:
It’s a premium package of 6 Pre-Made Mind Movies that are specifically designed to cover the most important areas of your life! • Courage & Confidence • Loving & Appreciating Myself • Attracting Friends & A Great Social Life • Vibrant Health • Inner Peace • (And last, but certainly NOT least) Wealth Abundance!
If you’re finally truly ready to knock out your goals, watch one of the pre-made Mind Movies in the morning and at night for just 3 minutes, and you’ll experience the amazing results hundreds of thousands are already seeing worldwide.
Thank you for reading this guide to the end. Please share with us... what will you do today to reap the benefits of being grateful every day?
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.