Happy Thankful Thursday dreamers!
This week I’m sharing some great news about practicing gratitude and how it can make you rich.
According to Science Codex, a team of researchers from Northeastern University, the University of California, Riverside, and Harvard Kennedy School conducted a research study on gratitude and found that feelings of gratitude can automatically reduce financial impatience.
In the landmark study, to be reported in an upcoming edition of the journal Psychological Science, participants who reported feeling neutral and happy showed a strong preference for immediate gratification, whereas those who felt grateful showed more patience.
In other words, feelings of gratitude seemed to subdue the need for instant gratification while enhancing the ability to be patient.
There is so much about dream success that requires patience. If your dream is to lose 50 pounds and become fit, it’s not going to happen in 30 days. On a certain level we know this, but we still want it to happen the minute we’ve finally taken our first step in a healthy direction. Often, when we don’t see the results we want right away, we tend to give up and resign ourselves to “never being able to change.”
Could practicing gratitude make the difference between success and failure?
Assistant Professor Ye Li from the University of California stated about the study,
“Showing that emotion can foster self-control and discovering a way to reduce impatience with a simple gratitude exercise opens up tremendous possibilities for reducing a wide range of societal ills from impulse buying and insufficient saving to obesity and smoking.”
The researchers could see a possible link between patience and a better quality of life, but I would say that gratitude is the link to a better quality of life.
As revealed by the British Psychological Society, the participants in the gratitude study were tested on whether they preferred instant gratification – receiving a certain sum of money now – or delayed rewards (receiving more money in 30 days).
The participants were first randomly assigned to one of three groups and told to write about an event from their past that made them feel grateful, happy or neutral.
It was then discovered that while the neutral and happy people strongly preferred immediate payouts, the grateful group showed more patience.
If we are willing to be grateful for what we already have we are more likely to stop and really look at our life as it is and slow down our decision-making process long enough to stop behaviors that get in the way of not only financial success, but success with our dreams.
The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley reports that studies are revealing that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits, such as:
1. Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;
2. Higher levels of positive emotions;
3. More joy, optimism, and happiness;
4. Acting with more generosity and compassion;
5. Feeling less lonely and isolated.
Research at the University of California, Davis found that participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions.
It would seem that gratitude is the missing key to success.
Internationally acclaimed personal finance expert, Suze Orman even states,
“When you are grateful – when you can see what you have – you unlock blessings to flow in your life.”
Whatever your dream is and wherever you are on your dream journey, I encourage you to start a practice of being grateful today. Begin to recognize what is working in your life and spend a few moments each day being grateful.
Whenever you feel the urge to do something that will sabotage your efforts, stop for one moment and find a way to be grateful before you continue. See if you can create some space between your immediate reaction to give up on yourself and continuing on.
Stay with it and practice being grateful.
Who knows, in a year, it just might make you rich.
In loving gratitude,
Sue Levy is the founder of the South African Just Pursue It Blog and Inspirational Women Initiative. She’s a motivational writer and media designer, who is obsessed with everything inspirational with a hint of geek. She thrives on teaching women how to be brave and take big chances on themselves.