The Importance of Gratitude & Showing Appreciation

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Spread Your Sunshine Founder Melanie S. Griffin, Esq. recently delivered a keynote address to the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers (“CFAWL”) entitled, The Importance of Gratitude and Showing Appreciation. As further detailed herein, this presentation explores the benefits of living of life of gratitude and strategies for growing in such practice. While this program was presented to CFAWL, the entire discussion is applicable to all audiences. We therefore hope these ideas help fabulous YOU best adopt a gratitude mindset and shower everyone around you with love and appreciation.

The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

Gratitude significantly positively impacts our lives and mindsets, how we feel and can contribute, and the ways we help others. For example, gratitude has been shown to open doors to more relationships​, as people want to be associated with someone who makes them feel good, including by acknowledging their efforts. One of the best ways to do this is by consistently cultivating a positive mindset, which may be enhanced by reputation management experts who can help you and your business best authentically connect with your community.

The derivatives of this practice are plentiful, including enhanced empathy​, reduced aggression​, and better sleep​. And, good sleep boosts immunity​, prevents weight gain, strengthens the heart​, increases productivity, enhances performance, and improves mood, memory​, self-esteem, mental strength, and physical and physiological health.

Strategies to Grow in Gratitude

Given the many benefits associated with living a life of gratitude, consider utilizing the following strategies to help you grow your positive mindset and show love to the community around you.

Maintain A Gratitude Journal

To maximize effectiveness, your entries should specifically detail why you are grateful​ and the root of the things you appreciate in your life. For example, instead of writing, “I am thankful for the food I have to eat,” consider, “I am thankful for this season of Honeycrisp Apples that nourish my body, provide a sweet treat that I look forward to eating, and make me smile reminiscing of crisp fall days at the Apple Orchard with family members, including fond memories of loved ones who are no longer with us.” The second statement truly immerses you in a gratitude state, washing the moment over you, allowing you to fully experience it, and thus, channel your inner positive feelings.  

While the benefits of journaling are plentiful, it’s understood that on a daily basis, you may not have time to put pen to paper. In that instance, engage in the same practice, simply as a mental, instead of written, exercise. Whether it’s upon waking in the morning, while at a red light when driving, or during some other idle time, there are always opportune moments throughout the day to focus on your appreciation skills when you are intentional.

Over time, concentrating on your blessings, not your burdens, will grow your mindset, positively shift the perspective with which you evaluate and react to everything in your life, and build your resilience for best dealing with new challenges that arise.

Write Yourself A Gratitude Letter

So often, we love on others, but forget to show ourselves love. Worse than that, we engage in negative and self-deprecating self-talk, belittling our talents, doubting ourselves, and feeding our minds hurtful lies that do not allow us to experience joy and live to our full potential.

One way to improve how you treat yourself is to write yourself a gratitude letter focusing on the unique ways that you make the world a better place. Beyond improving your mood and confidence in the short-term, it is a great tool during later moments of self-doubt. And, when celebrating fabulous YOU, remember that the smallest act can have the greatest impact. You deserve to feel loved and appreciated after both small wins and significant milestones.

Shower Others with Gratitude

A favorite Spread Your Sunshine saying is, “Don’t just think someone is awesome, tell them!” Oftentimes, your loved ones do not realize the positive impact they have on you or your appreciation for their efforts when you do not share your feelings. Whether it is by card, email, text, direct message, in-person meeting, or some other way, help them understand the unique and positive impact they have on your world. Doing so will improve your relationships, instill confidence in your community, and energize loved ones who would otherwise crumble from the weight of being taken for granted.

Keep in mind that this practice does not have to be time-consuming. A meaningful text may be just as impactful as a hand-written note. What is most important is that your feelings are shared and unrealistic perfection does not trump a smaller opportunity to brighten someone’s day.

Likewise, do not let the passage of time stop you from expressing your appreciation. A thank you is always welcomed. In fact, your impact is often greatest after time has passed that allows you to fully understand and explain how the person helped you.  

Similarly, shower both loved ones and strangers alike with love. Oftentimes, an unexpected compliment has the biggest impact, as the recipient knows you were not obligated to share your thoughts and rather, genuinely appreciate them and their unique awesomeness.

For additional thoughts on expressing gratitude, click here or on the video below.

And, do you want to learn more from Spread Your Sunshine?! We’re sure you do, so please share your ideas with us by emailing Melanie at Melanie@SpreadYourSunshine.com or by sending Spread Your Sunshine a message via FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, or Twitter. We love hearing from you, as together we are strongest.

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