Nebulous concepts like good will and gratitude aren’t typically what you’ll see in an article about financial well-being, yet statistics have proven that those who are grateful for what they have tend to be more successful. Getting ahead in life requires positivity. That’s not an opinion. There are hundreds of scientific studies out there that prove this is true.
It’s easy to be grateful when you’re debt-free. Living paycheck to paycheck and just barely paying the bills every month can be a dreary existence if you’re miserable about it. Being grateful for the little things in life can make life more fulfilling. For your benefit, we’ve compiled a list of five reasons gratitude can help you improve your finances and your quality of life.
1. Gratitude makes you more productive
Dragging yourself into work every day to do a job you’re unhappy with leads to poor productivity. Those who constantly complain don’t get things done. Instead of griping about traffic and long lines at the coffee shop, try being grateful that you’re employed. There are other people who don’t have that luxury. Say “thank you” and put more effort in.
2. Gratitude is a relationship builder
No one wants to hang out with negative people unless they’re negative themselves. Do you find yourself sitting with co-workers who do nothing but complain? Try seeking out some folks with a positive attitude. Gratitude is contagious. You’ll be more grateful when your circle is comprised of people who lift each other up. Those relationships help make you more productive.
3. Gratitude makes you more resilient
Setbacks in life are compounded when you’re miserable. This is particularly true where finances are concerned. That unexpected bill or tragic event can take you down quickly if you feel you have nothing to be grateful for. Giving thanks for good health or family may seem meaningless when things go awry, but it’s important if you’re going to get to the other side of the situation.
4. Gratitude is healthier than negativity
There’s some actual science behind this. Positive people are healthier and tend to live longer. Miserable people suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, and other conditions that deteriorate the quality of life. Depression can kill you. That’s never been said about gratitude. If for no other reason, try to be grateful for the sake of your physical and mental well-being.
5. Gratitude through giving reaps rewards
Giving money to charity when you’re barely making ends meet seems like an impossibility, but most people can afford to throw ten or twenty dollars someone else’s way. There are also other ways to practice charity, such as service to others. Volunteering at a local soup kitchen will help you feel more grateful for what you have. Mentoring younger people can work, too.
There’s a saying in twelve-step fellowships: “You can’t keep what you have without giving it away.” It’s a message for people in recovery who need to find a way to be grateful. That principle can be applied to everyone. Be grateful for what you have, be charitable to others, do service when possible, and your finances will improve. It works—give it a try.
Author Bio: Kevin Flynn is a former fintech coach and financial services professional. When not on the golf course, he can be found traveling with his wife or spending time with their eight wonderful grandchildren and two cats.