My ears always perk up when I hear someone talk about gratitude. I even know a few people who keep a journal where they write down what they are grateful for each day. These journals help remind people what they have to be thankful for, and that’s great. But being thankful and having gratitude are two different things. Why is gratitude different, and, in my opinion, so very important?

Gratitude a mindset.

Gratitude is about being aware of what’s around us, not just what’s within our reach or within our circle of influence.

Being grateful is good for our physical, social, and mental health, according to gratitude expert Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis. He knows because he has studied the impact of gratitude on thousands of people of varying ages. What are these benefits?

  • Physical benefits of having an attitude of gratitude include a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, better quality sleep, and waking refreshed.
  • Mental benefits of gratitude include having more positive emotions, being more alert, and experiencing more joy and optimism.
  • Social benefits of gratitude include being more helpful, compassionate, forgiving, and outgoing.

Interestingly, Emmons found two main aspects of gratitude. The first is an awareness of the positive aspects of life, and the second is the realization that the source of goodness is in the outside world. When we know both of these things, it leads to a deeper appreciation of what is around us.

Why is gratitude important?

Gratitude is important because it helps us see a world that is much bigger than ourselves. When we have gratitude, we can help each other grow personally or in business. We can help those less fortunate because we see and appreciate how much we already have. We even appreciate the talents of others more.

And when multiplied together, these attitudes and the actions they spur have the power to change the world.

For me, gratitude is about not living in a vacuum. You have to step outside of your self and your immediate world to see that in the grand scheme of things, you have a lot to be grateful for. When I’m practicing gratitude, I have a greater awareness of the world around me and more easily recognize the good in others. I feel a deep appreciation for all of the immaterial things in my life – my family, my health, the roof over my head, and the ability to pursue my dreams and passion. It’s a beautiful way to live. 

So it is with a full heart that I say THANK YOU to you, my family, friends, clients, and colleagues.

I am grateful for each and every one of you.

Let’s make this world a more positive place filled with gratitude.