Wealthy people can be miserable. People with little can be content and happy. What makes the difference in someone’s perspective?
In many cases, the answer is gratitude. Gratitude is more than just a feel-good emotion. When you exercise gratitude, things happen in your brain which can affect your entire outlook and perspective on life.
When it comes to money, many people feel as though being grateful is reserved for the wealthy. Often, many people feel as if they need to reach a certain level of wealth before they have something to be grateful for. In actuality, no matter what amount of wealth you may currently have, there is always a place for gratitude in your life.
Be Grateful No Matter the Size of Your Bank Account
According to author Pam Grout, “Gratitude is causative energy. It plants seeds that grow into unlimited abundance.” The effects of gratitude can be long-lasting and far-reaching.
Gratitude Focuses Your Attention
When you are grateful for what you have, it is more likely that you will be content with what you already have. Contentment removes the desire to accumulate more “stuff’.
Gratitude Promotes Generosity
A feeling of gratitude opens the way for you to be generous to others. When you live in contentment with what you have, you are able to allocate your budget, allowing you to share what you have.
Gratitude Fosters Practicality
A study done by Northeastern University revealed that practicing gratitude can reduce impatience. The study focused on the difference between instant and delayed gratification. Participants in the study were offered a sum of money on the spot, or a larger sum of money after a few days. Individuals who shared a personal story that exhibited gratitude were more likely to practice delayed gratification and chose the larger sum of money. The implication that gratitude can reduce impulsive decision making, particularly when dealing with finances.
How to Live in Gratitude
Take stock of what you have. It is easy to get caught up in thinking about the things you don’t have, rather than focusing on and being grateful for what you do have. Count your blessings from the minor (a sunny day) to the major (a home).
Practice gratitude now. Don’t wait for circumstances to improve or an increase in wealth. Find reasons today to choose gratefulness.
Volunteer. Get involved in organizations that work with the less fortunate. When you see the reality of how fortunate you are, it can foster a sense of gratitude for what you have.
Psychologists often study confirmation bias. The theory of confirmation bias suggests that you will always find what you’re looking for.
If your outlook is negative, you will always see the negative around you. If your outlook is good, you’ll always see things that are good. Likewise, if you focus on gratitude, you will recognize more things that you can be grateful for. What will you look for today?