How Giving Gratitude Away Can Make You Happier

{HABIT: Gratitude}
Month: 11 / Week: 2

This week, we’re talking gratitude again. Now, some of you may think less of this habit, and I get it. Gratitude isn’t necessarily something tangible you will notice right away or that you can measure.

giveI know it’s easier to quantify the weight on the scale and the number of minutes you exercise but just because you can put a number on it, doesn’t mean it has any more impact on your life. And gratitude is a habit that can impact your life in so many ways… ways you probably have never imagined. You may not believe me until you experience it for yourself.

For now, let’s just take a dive into how gratitude will impact your health. It all starts with our perspective.

When it comes to fitness and nutrition, many of us have an all or nothing approach…

“I ate the donut for breakfast so my diet is blown. I’ll start again Monday”

“I didn’t exercise the last few days so I may as well wait until next week”

“I don’t have time to cook so I’m going to go through the drive-thru”

“I missed my cardio class so I’m going home instead”

“Oh my, I’ve gained 10 pounds! I’ve failed again”

We like to minimize the progress we’re making and MAXIMIZE the steps we haven’t taken yet. The result?

We give up because we think it’s hopeless.

One way to get out of this negative self talk is to change your thoughts and attitude. But that’s not always the easy way. And it certainly is not the only way. Another great tactic is to get out of your mind and to go do something for someone else. To truly develop the habit of gratitude, we need to look outside of ourselves and start giving gratitude away to others.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” –John F. Kennedy

Think about this in your own life. What does it feel like when someone tells you thank you? Or when someone does something for you to show they appreciate you or something that you have done? How does it feel when you tell someone thank you or show them you are grateful for them or something they have done?

Find a way to express your appreciation. This could be a simple thank you or a nice gesture.

thanksIt may be a good idea to tackle this with a plan. Think back on the first challenge of the things you were grateful for throughout the week. Now, think of 7 people who came up regularly or who contribute to your overall happiness on a regular basis. Make a plan to do something each day for each of these individuals. Again, it can be as simple as thanking them for who they are or something they’ve done. Or, you can do something for that person to show your gratitude and appreciation. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Express thanks or give a card
  • Buy a coffee or take to lunch
  • Make them something
  • Help with something they need
  • Give them a sincere compliment
CHALLENGEMake a plan this week by writing down the names of 7 people you want to do something nice for. It can be anyone. Do 1 good thing for each of those individuals every day this week.

New to the healthy habits challenge ? Start here.

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