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8 Gifts of Gratitude

8 Gifts of Gratitude

Did you know that gratitude is a transformational tool that comes with life-changing benefits?

And it’s right at our fingertips!

Gratitude is recognized in every culture and is expressed in various ways around the world. To be grateful is to give praise, to be gracious, to accept.

Gratitude helps us focus on the good things that are already in our lives and cultivates a posture of enough-ness towards ourselves and life.

Although cultivating gratitude costs no money, it does cost courage, faith, vulnerability, and commitment:

  • Courage to be content.
  • Faith that what I have is enough.
  • Vulnerability to accept and receive.
  • Commitment to practice reorienting my perspective on life.

The benefits far outweigh the few minutes it takes each day to remember what I’m grateful for.

Here are 8 gifts of gratitude:

  1. Relationships. I'm drawn to people who exude a spirit of gratitude. Gratefulness for who others are and what they contribute, whether strangers or friends, creates a wider network of relationships and deeper connections. 
  1. Physical and psychological health. Gratitude increases happiness and helps reduce depression, envy, resentment, and regret. An attitude of gratefulness creates a positive outlook and motivation for exercise and self-care.
  1. Self-esteem. Gratitude reduces my natural tendency to compare myself with others. Rather than becoming resentful towards those who have more money or better jobs, gratitude increases the ability to accept who I am and all that I have, which frees me to appreciate others’ accomplishments.
  1. Resilience. Recognizing what I have to be thankful for, even during times of significant loss in my life, strengthens my resilience when stressful, even traumatic, events occur. Gratitude increases my flexibility to adapt to circumstances outside my control.
  1. Increased productivity. Gratefulness releases me from unnecessary energy to "fix" what seems broken or missing in my life and gives me the energy to engage my work with passion and purpose.
  1. Optimism. As a “glass half empty” person, gratitude is transforming me into a “glass half full” optimist.
  1. Sleep. Gratitude helps me to relax and stop striving. At the end of the day, I’ve started spending 5-10 minutes before going to bed to write down (or thank God) for the 3 best moments of the day. 
  1. Generosity. Gratitude changes my perspective to focus on what I have rather than what I don’t have and enables me to let go of what I think I need. This freedom expands my desire to be generous towards others with my time and resources.

What are the transformational gifts of gratitude in your own life?



About the Author: Deirdre works in the IDEAS office as the Executive Support Specialist. She teaches Hebrew, is an avid runner, and loves to travel. Enjoy other blog posts by Deirdre, such as The Power of Forgiveness: A Refugee's Story.