Transform Your Life with These 8 Hidden Benefits of Gratitude
In a world filled with stress and negativity, it’s easy to overlook the power of gratitude. However, expressing gratitude for the positive aspects of our lives is one of the simplest and most effective ways to enhance our well-being. Gratitude has been scientifically proven to have numerous benefits that can transform our lives in unexpected ways. In this episode of the podcast, we will explore eight hidden benefits of gratitude that you might not be aware of. From boosting mental health to improving relationships, these benefits offer compelling reasons why you should make gratitude a part of your daily routine.
Why is Gratitude Important?
In a previous podcast episode I talked about 7 ways to feel gratitude when things suck. (That’s episode 64 which you can check out at allegrativity.com/064) But gratitude is such an important aspect of my life that I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it. I want to help you discover the transformative power of gratitude and its hidden benefits. Gratitude is a game-changer in personal development, and a superpower that can transform your life. It’s more than just saying “thank you” – it’s a mindset of appreciation and awe for the blessings that surround you.
When you embrace gratitude, magical things start to happen. It’s like putting on a pair of special glasses that allow you to see the world more clearly. Suddenly, you become aware of the small joys and acts of kindness that often go unnoticed. You begin to cherish the people, experiences, and even the challenges that have shaped you.
Picture this: by simply shifting your focus from what’s lacking to what’s abundant, you can unleash a wave of positivity in your life. Gratitude becomes your secret weapon, empowering you to overcome obstacles and embrace every moment with a grateful attitude.
Think about how amazing it feels to truly appreciate the people in your life – your loved ones, friends, and mentors who have touched you deeply. Gratitude deepens those connections, creating a bond that’s very personal and hard to describe to others. Image the best hug you’ve ever gotten. It’s like that. A big hug that makes you feel seen, valued, and loved.
But that’s not all. Gratitude is a catalyst for personal growth and self-confidence. When you acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small, you’re empowering yourself to reach bigger, scarier goals. Your self-esteem soars, and suddenly you realize that you are capable of achieving just about anything. Would you show up differently at work tomorrow if you felt capable of achieving anything? I thought so.
And let’s not forget about the incredible impact gratitude has on your overall well-being. It’s like a natural stress reliever, melting away tension and anxiety. By focusing on the positive, you cultivate resilience and bounce back from setbacks much quicker. You sleep more soundly, wake up refreshed, and tackle each day with renewed energy.
Have you fallen into the complaining trap?
Most people complain an average of 30 times a day. Did you expect that number to be higher or lower? This constant stream of negative thinking rewires your brain to be negative and makes you vulnerable to potential health problems, career mistakes, and out-of-balance relationships.
With so much at risk, what’s the alternative? How can you break the cycle of negativity and complaining? Can you really train yourself to not only look for the positive but to focus on it as well?
The answer can be found in a simple yet powerful word: gratitude. Gratitude is simply the “quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful” (Dictionary.com).
Imagine a life where you’re not just going through the motions, but truly savoring every experience. Gratitude helps you find joy in the ordinary, turning mundane moments into treasured memories.
You have the power to transform your world, one thankful thought at a time.
Gratitude is a hard quality to master when it seems the world around you is awful and stacked against you. But, those women who are willing to embrace gratitude often discover these surprising gifts that come with it. Are you ready to unlock the hidden treasures that gratitude holds?
The 8 Hidden Benefits of Gratitude
Gratitude Reframes Adversity
Grateful people have the ability to focus on what’s going right, on the resources they have, and how they can use them to improve the future. This enables them to cope with setbacks and turn obstacles into opportunities for growth.
Gratitude Strengthens Relationships
By shifting the focus from what others are doing wrong to what brings joy and appreciation in relationships, gratitude deepens connections and creates bonds that are hard to describe. It allows us to see beyond surface-level annoyances and recognize the positive qualities in others.
Gratitude Lowers Stress
Practicing gratitude helps reframe negative situations and find something to be thankful for, even in challenging moments. By shifting our outlook and focusing on the positive, we can reduce stress and anxiety, leading to improved well-being.
Gratitude Improves Health
Regularly practicing gratitude has been shown to lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone, by 20%. It also lowers blood pressure, improves sleep quality, and decreases chronic pain. Gratitude can even enhance overall immune function, contributing to better health outcomes.
Gratitude Increases Self-Esteem and Confidence
When we shift our attention from listing our flaws and failures to recognizing positive aspects of ourselves, gratitude allows us to improve self-esteem and feel good about who we are. It enables us to see our strengths and accomplishments, empowering us to reach for greater goals.
Gratitude Improves Sleep
Engaging in gratitude before bedtime promotes a relaxed state of mind, reducing racing thoughts and anxieties. By reflecting on the positive aspects of the day and expressing gratitude, we create mental calmness that contributes to better sleep quality and rejuvenation.
Gratitude Enhances Resilience
The practice of gratitude cultivates resilience by focusing on the positive and fostering a mindset of appreciation. Grateful individuals bounce back from setbacks more quickly, cultivate resilience, and face challenges with renewed energy and optimism.
Gratitude Brings Joy to Everyday Life
Gratitude allows us to find joy in ordinary moments, turning mundane experiences into treasured memories. By shifting our perspective and cultivating a thankful mindset, we can unlock the hidden treasures of gratitude and transform our world one thankful thought at a time.
Gratitude Is A Habit (Not Just A Feeling!)
Embracing a grateful spirit doesn’t mean you’ll never have another bad day. But it does mean that you’ll approach these days differently. Instead of cataloguing everything that’s going wrong, you’ll square your shoulders and look for the silver lining. Because you know if you search hard enough, you will find it. That’s the power of gratitude!
Are you willing to try a new gratitude habit for the next 7 days? Comment below to let me know what you tried and how it went.
Links & Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
- Gratitude is Good Medicine, UC Davis Health Medical Center
- 7 Ways to Feel Gratitude when Things Suck
More about the Podcast
Over the years, Your Confident Self has become a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their self-confidence and overcome obstacles in their personal and professional lives. With more than 150,000 downloads and counting, Allegra’s podcast has built a loyal following of listeners who appreciate her thoughtful insights and practical wisdom.
Allegra Sinclair [00:00:07]: Welcome to Your Confident Self, the podcast that empowers women to step into their boldest, most confident selves. I'm your host, Allegra Sinclair, and I'm here to help you unleash your full potential in every area of your life. From the boardroom to the dance floor, we explore practical strategies and mindset shifts that will help you show up as your most confident self in every situation. Join me each week as I either bring you a lesson straight from my own executive coaching practice, or I dive into conversations with inspiring women who have overcome their own fears and self doubt to achieve amazing things. From entrepreneurs and executives to artists and athletes, my guests will share their stories and insights so you can learn from their experiences and apply their lessons to your own life. Whether you're ready to ask for that promotion, start your own business, or simply feel more confident in your own skin, your Confident Self is the podcast for you. So grab your headphones and get ready to unlock your full potential. Hey, this is allegra welcome to this week's episode of the podcast.
Allegra Sinclair [00:01:25]: In a world where stress and negativity seem to dominate, it's easy to overlook the power of gratitude. But expressing gratitude for the positive aspects of our lives is one of the simplest and most effective ways to enhance our wellbeing. Gratitude has been scientifically proven to have numerous benefits that can transform our lives in unexpected ways. In this episode, we'll explore eight hidden benefits of gratitude that you might not be aware of. From boosting your mental health to improving your relationships, these benefits offer compelling reasons why you should make gratitude a part of your daily routine. I added one gratitude habit to my daily routine, and it has blown me away with its effects. So if you're looking for an easy way to improve your life, stay tuned and discover how cultivating a thankful mindset could change everything. Now, in a previous podcast episode, I want to say it was episode 64.
Allegra Sinclair [00:02:28]: I talked about seven ways to feel gratitude when things suck. You could go back and check that email@example.com, 64 but gratitude has become such an important aspect of my life that I wanted to make sure you didn't miss any of the benefits. So I want to help you discover the transformative power of gratitude and its hidden benefits. Gratitude is a game changer in personal development and a superpower that can absolutely transform your life. I know these are big promises, but I can back them up. Gratitude is more than just saying thank you. It's a mindset of appreciation and awe for the good things that surround you. When you embrace gratitude, magical things start to happen.
Allegra Sinclair [00:03:17]: It's like you put on a pair of special glasses that allow you to see the world more clearly. Suddenly, you no longer miss the small joys and acts of kindness that fill every day. You start to really appreciate the people experiences and even the challenges that you have in life. So picture this by simply shifting your focus from what's lacking in your life to what's abundant, you can unleash a tsunami of positivity in your life. Gratitude then becomes your secret weapon, empowering you to overcome obstacles and embrace every moment with a grateful attitude that you choose. Think about how amazing it feels to truly appreciate the people in your life your loved ones, your friends, mentors who may have touched and impacted your career deeply. Gratitude deepens those connections, creating a bond that's very personal and hard to describe to others. I think of it this way imagine the best hug you've ever gotten.
Allegra Sinclair [00:04:25]: Gratitude's like that. It's like a big hug that makes you feel seen and valued and loved. But that's not all. Gratitude can absolutely be the fuel for your personal growth and self confidence. When you acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small, you're empowering yourself to reach bigger, scarier goals, your self esteem soars, and suddenly, you realize that you're capable of achieving just about anything. Would you show up differently at work tomorrow if you felt capable of achieving anything? I thought so. And let's not forget about the incredible impact that gratitude has on your overall well being. It's like a natural stress reliever.
Allegra Sinclair [00:05:11]: Gratitude is like the St. John's Whart and Melatonin you have been looking for, melting away tension and anxiety. By focusing on the positive, you cultivate resilience, and you bounce back from your setback so much quicker. You even sleep more soundly, wake up more refresh, and tackle each day with renewed energy. So my first question for you as we look at these hidden benefits of gratitude is, have you fallen into the complaining trap? Most people complain an average of 30 times a day. That blew my mind. Did you expect that number to be higher or lower? This constant stream of negative thinking rewires your brain to be negative and makes you vulnerable to potential health problems, career mistakes, and out of balance relationships. With so much at risk, what's your alternative? How can you break the cycle of negativity and complaining? Can you really train yourself to not only look for the positive, but to focus on it as well? The answer can be found in a simple yet powerful word gratitude.
Allegra Sinclair [00:06:28]: I looked it up for y'all, just for the Giggle On dictionary, and it says gratitude is simply the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. So imagine your life, and in it, you're not just going through the motions, but you're truly enjoying every experience. Gratitude helps you find joy in the ordinary, turning mundane, boring moments into treasured memories. Right now, you have the power to transform your world one thankful thought at a time. The question is, are you ready to unlock the hidden treasures that gratitude holds? Gratitude's a hard quality to master when it seems the whole world around you is awful and stacked against you. But those women who are willing to embrace gratitude often discover these surprising gifts that come with it. So benefit number one gratitude reframes adversity. Okay, so the job you wanted, you didn't get it.
Allegra Sinclair [00:07:33]: The deal you were working on didn't come through. The company where you were working went through downsizing, and you had to tell people you really care about that their job went away. Everyone encounters adversity at one point or another. Some people, though, seem so much more resilient. No matter what they face, they always seem to bounce back and turn those obstacles into opportunities for even better things in the future. What's their secret? It's simple. Grateful people are focused on what's going right, on what resources they have, and how they can use these to improve the future. This enables them to cope with minor setbacks and crushing defeats without losing their energy or desire to try again.
Allegra Sinclair [00:08:22]: We've talked before about how you can reframe anything and everything that happens to you and change your thoughts about it instantly. That's what gratitude does. It helps you reframe adversity. And in a moment, we're going to talk about a couple of examples of that. Benefit number two is that gratitude strengthens relationships. It's hard to make yourself feel love or treat people kindly when all you can think about is everything that you don't like about them or everything that you think is wrong with them. The things that you're thinking about them might even be true, right? You could have some legitimate points, but perhaps you don't need to be the one to point that out. Perhaps the way you're showing up in all your relationships isn't really working for you.
Allegra Sinclair [00:09:13]: Do you honestly believe that you're going to strengthen your relationships by telling other people exactly what they're doing wrong all the time? Let's just think about how that tastes for a moment. How would you feel about someone who seemed to delight in telling you what was wrong with you all the time? I'm guessing you're not going to go out of your way to spend a lot of time with that person. And that makes sense. Who would want to do that? So in your relationships, look beyond the surface. Okay, maybe your spouse is forgetful, but what else are they? Are they an amazing parent? Are they a great teacher? Do they keep your finances running like the best, smoothest, most stress free car in the world? Everybody in your life and all the relationships you have? None of those people is just one thing. None of us is just one annoying habit. So grateful people don't focus on what the other person is doing wrong. They look at how much joy this person brings to them.
Allegra Sinclair [00:10:22]: So then they're eager to return that. If I am thinking about something that I'm thinking about someone right now, so I'm going to try not to say her name. If I am thinking about someone who does something that really irritates me. If I focus too much on that thing she does, that irritates me, that flavors every interaction I have with her. But instead, if I think, man, she is really funny. She is really supportive. No matter what crazy idea I come up with, she absolutely believes I can make that thing happen. I feel differently about her, and our relationship is different because I show up and interact with her differently when I'm focused on the things that I'm grateful for about this person.
Allegra Sinclair [00:11:06]: Benefit number three gratitude lowers stress. So this happened to me recently. Picture this. You're in your car on your way to an important appointment. You've waited six months to see this allergist, and you're running late. And you get behind someone who's driving so slow, and traffic is not helping you out, giving you a place where you can quickly move around them. You are stuck right behind them. What's your default response? Most people are complaining in that moment.
Allegra Sinclair [00:11:38]: They're having a lot of negative thoughts. They are miserable about it, even though there's nothing they can do to change their circumstances in that moment. I'm not saying that's how I responded, but I'm going to say a lot of people would have. But what if you challenged yourself to change your outlook? So instead of worrying about being late for the allergist, let's say you take 60 seconds and focus on something that you're grateful for. Like the fact that a year ago you didn't have an allergist, or a year ago, maybe you didn't have health insurance, and now you do, and you have the opportunity to go see someone who can help you breathe through your nose for the first time in three months. There is something that you can be grateful for in this moment. A simple thing, a small thing, a big thing. The size of the item doesn't matter.
Allegra Sinclair [00:12:27]: It just matters that you can bring to mind in that moment something you're grateful for that's going to immediately lower your blood pressure, lower your stress. I'm way less concerned about the person in front of me who's driving slow because I'm busy reexperiencing that thing that brought me joy. Benefit number four gratitude improves your health. Saying thank you, giving thanks, being grateful is a wonderful hidden way to improve your health. People who regularly take time to practice gratitude have cortisol levels that are 20% lower than the normal population. I'm not saying that UC Davis Health is saying that. I'll include a link in the show notes so those of you who want to can look it up. And if you're not aware, cortisol is the stress hormone that can wreak havoc in your body.
Allegra Sinclair [00:13:20]: So if I regularly just stop and think of things to be grateful about, I can lower my stress levels. Okay, sign me up. Gratitude lowers your blood pressure, improves your sleep, and decreases chronic pain. Some studies have even shown that a regular gratitude practice can improve your overall immune function. At this point in time, I'm sure we can all get excited about something that makes us less likely to get sick. Benefit number five gratitude increases Self esteem and confidence. It's going to be more difficult for you to improve your self esteem and feel good about yourself if you're always listing your flaws and failures. Remember earlier when we talked about how gratitude can affect your relationships? It affects your relationship with yourself.
Allegra Sinclair [00:14:16]: If you're like most women, you probably right now, without even flexing a muscle, could come up with a list of reasons why you believe yourself to have flaws and failures. I might even go so far as to say you could come up with some reasons right now. I would try to refute them all, but you could come up with some reasons right now, for while you feel like you're undeserving of good things. You might even tell yourself sometimes that you're unworthy or unlovable. But gratitude allows you to step back and see positive things about yourself. I didn't like it that I wore glasses starting in the third grade because not a lot of people in my class wore glasses. And I felt like, well, I'm already this geeky, skinny, nerdy thing who likes classical music in a world of R and B lovers. Now I have glasses.
Allegra Sinclair [00:15:07]: But then I realized that my glasses enabled me to see things that other people didn't see, that other people might have missed. I just changed my viewpoint of glasses, and now I think of glasses just like an amazing accessory. I have almost as many pair of glasses as I have shoes because they can demonstrate how I'm feeling that day. Right. My glasses are part of my vocabulary. They can change my mood. They could definitely change my thoughts. They're fun.
Allegra Sinclair [00:15:38]: Different glasses provide different benefits to me. I now love the fact that I wear glasses. I had contacts for years. I missed glasses. So something that I used to hate that made me feel badly about myself, I now love about myself. I have a lot of confidence depending on which pair of glasses I'm wearing. So it's much easier to love yourself if you're not wasting your time listing your flaws, but instead are taking time to think about the things about yourself that you're grateful for. Benefit number six gratitude improves Your sleep.
Allegra Sinclair [00:16:16]: How allegra how could gratitude improve my sleep? Because it allows you to be more restful and have more Rejuvenating sleep. It calms your mind. Gratitude shifts your focus from worries and anxieties to more positive aspects of life. So right before you're trying to go to sleep, thinking about things that you're grateful for creates peace in your mind. And this mental calmness reduces racing thoughts and promotes a more relaxed state, which is conducive to better sleep. You can integrate gratitude very easily into your bedtime routines and your relaxation practices. Take a few moments before sleep to reflect on all the good stuff that happened in that day and express gratitude. This helps transition your mind into a state of calm.
Allegra Sinclair [00:17:07]: If you pair gratitude with deep breathing exercises or meditation or even gentle stretching, it amplifies the relaxation effect and prepares your body and mind for sleep. Because gratitude changes your perspective on what has happened to you during that day. When you cultivate a grateful mindset, you're less likely to keep thinking about negative events or things that happen during the day. You know how sometimes you can just get into a spin and you just can't stop thinking about something? No matter how many times you encourage yourself to let something go, deciding to be grateful about things instead frees your mind and allows you to approach sleep in a much better frame of mind. So bedtime rituals can create a peaceful, positive mindset. We talked about meditation, just reflecting on what you're grateful for doing gratitude affirmations right before bed journaling just taking a few minutes before you got to try to go to sleep to write down things that you're grateful for from that specific day. All of these different gratitude rituals can help you go to sleep. It can be a very powerful thing if you have a partner or a loved one who's sharing your bed.
Allegra Sinclair [00:18:22]: What if you tried turning to that person instead of saying whatever you might usually say, you just express gratitude for that person or for something specific that happened during the day. How might you then approach sleep with that attitude versus worrying about or talking about something that didn't go well that day? The key to feeling and experiencing gratitude during these rituals is to really focus on the thing that you're grateful for. Over time, these rituals become such a habit and such a part of your general routine that you will find you miss it if you skip it. Now, this is an odd one and it's really hidden benefit of gratitude, but gratitude helps your budget by reducing materialism. I have a friend who's getting ready to move and she has been blown away in a negative way by how much stuff she has just closets stuffed with things she has not worn and will probably never wear. But somebody bought all those items and we've been talking through her sense of shame around having spent all this money on stuff that she'll never wear. There might even be parts of your home that you can't move through as easily as you'd like because there's extra stuff hanging around. An easily forgotten gift from gratitude is that it reduces materialism.
Allegra Sinclair [00:19:48]: Because if you're grateful for what you already have, why would you want to keep going and buying more things? If I love my winter coat, if I'm grateful for my winter coat, I'm not going to feel compelled to go buy three more. So reducing materialism and practicing gratitude offer benefits that enhance your overall well being and happiness because it can have a big effect on your financial situation. Focusing on gratitude versus material things gives you more resilience. It strengthens your relationship and connection with others, and it helps you trust yourself more and give yourself a greater sense of belonging. Because you know the reason why people are in relationship with you is not because of your stuff, but because of who you are. So by reducing materialism and embracing gratitude, you can unlock a deeper sense of fulfillment, improved mental well being, and genuine happiness. Shifting your focus from possessions to gratitude brings you closer to living that more meaningful and purposeful life. So our final hidden benefits of gratitude is that gratitude boosts creativity.
Allegra Sinclair [00:21:02]: When you're happy and in a state of gratitude, it's easier to sit down and do something creative, like write a chapter in that book you've been promising, or paint a picture or work on that sweater that you've been crocheting. When you're in a happy and calm state of mind, you can be more creative. Time flies by, and you'll love the results from whatever project it is that you worked on. You might even find that when you're in a space of gratitude that you find solutions to problems that you were worrying about all day. But while you were in that negative spin, no fresh ideas came to you. No innovations, no new thoughts. So if you focus on gratitude and all the blessings that you have in your life, it's much easier to create. You can give your projects your full focus and tackle any problems with ease and joy.
Allegra Sinclair [00:21:57]: So gratitude is a habit, not just a feeling. And embracing gratitude doesn't mean that you'll never have another bad day. But it does mean that you'll approach those days differently, with less fear, because you know that you have another way of handling them. Instead of categoring everything that's going wrong, you can think back and look on something that you're grateful about. You can find something to be grateful for even in the midst of that bad day. Because if you look hard enough, you will find something. That's the power of gratitude. So quick reminder the eight hidden benefits of gratitude are that gratitude reframes adversity, strengthens relationships, lowers stress, improves your overall health, increases self esteem and confidence, improves the quality of your sleep, reduces materialism, and boosts your creativity.
Allegra Sinclair [00:22:56]: So let me encourage you to incorporate gratitude into your daily life by telling you this thing that I started a couple of weeks ago that I said blew my mind. So I've told you before about this app, Voxer that I love. It like, turns your phone into a walkietalkie of sorts and I talk to friends all over the place with it all the time. I love it. Instead of texting or heaven forbid, picking up the phone, who does that anymore? I will just pick up my phone and leave a message on Voxer and then on the other end, whoever I'm talking to clicks the little button and they can listen to me and we have whole asynchronous conversations. So earlier this year we started a practice afresh we had started before, but we fell of. So earlier this year we went back to this and we start every morning on Voxer naming three things that we're grateful for. And in the beginning, I'll be honest, sometimes I had to think for the three things.
Allegra Sinclair [00:23:51]: Now I routinely break the rules and I say more than three. I offer up more than three things. I have taken to regularly saying, okay, now here come my bonus. Gratitude because I'm cheating. Because there is more than three things. It is so much easier for me today to come up with more things I'm grateful for each and every day. Even on days when kind of nothing is going right, I can still pop into that boxer thread and name three things that I'm grateful for. It is amazing how it has changed my stress level, the stress level of my friends and loved ones.
Allegra Sinclair [00:24:25]: I have more than one thread going on where we talk about being grateful and then we'll tag each other. So if somebody's slacking off and not doing it, somebody will absolutely say, all right, who's next? All right, tag whoever's going next. It is something that we really look forward to and something that has absolutely changed how we interact with one another and how we interact with the world. Because we start very intentionally with thinking about we're grateful for before we even step foot out of bed or go make coffee or do whatever it is that we're going to do during the course of the day. Our frame, our filter, our intention for the day is to walk from a place of gratitude that has been magical. If you can't think of any other gratitude practice that you want to pick up, you don't want to journal, you don't want to talk about gratitude right before you go to bed with a loved one, you don't have to do any of those things. But can I really encourage you to try saying out loud to someone else three things that you're grateful for every day? I usually ask you to do that for 21 days, right? I'm not even going to do that. I'm just going to ask, if you'll do that for a week, will you do that for seven days? And then will you go to allegrativity gratitude and tell me what happened? Did it change your attitude? Did it transform some aspect of how you show up in the world? Will you do that? I hope so.
Allegra Sinclair [00:25:55]: Thanks so much for joining me. I hope that you are now understanding better the hidden benefits of gratitude and that you're willing to at least try being intentional about adding some gratitude into your daily routine. As always, you can visit the show notes for a full listing of all these benefits I went through as well well as any other resources like the scientific studies that are referred to. All of those can be found at the firstname.lastname@example.org Gratitude. Thanks for joining me. I'll catch you next time.
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