The Power Of Gratitude

April 23, 2012 — 35 Comments
The Power Of Gratitude | Joseph Lalonde

What would you say if I told you that you could have more happiness in your life? And all you had to do was make a simple, yet often difficult, change in your attitude?

I hope you’d jump at the chance to learn the secret. Well, today is your lucky day as I’m letting you in on this little secret.

Thank You

Image by Gisela Giardino

That secret is Learn To Be Grateful.

What does that mean? Dictionary.com defines it as: warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received.

To break it down even further, it means to be thankful.

Express your gratitude to those around you. When your neighbor has come over and snowblown your driveway, go over and tell them how much you appreciated it. If a fellow shopper holds the door for you as you’re entering the store, say “thank you.” Or if an author has touched your life, send them a note telling them that.

Research has shown that gratitude releases positive hormones into our bodies. We become more relaxed and less stressed. Blood pressure will drop and we can think more clearly.

These results are powerful!

But that’s not all. Here’s three more benefits that you’ll gain from showing gratitude.

  • It can change your mood:
    With the hormones released by feeling gratitude, you receive a pick me up. Your mood changes and you become happier.

    By expressing your gratitude to the one who has helped you, you will see the joy on their face. That also works to better your mood.

    Go ahead and try it. Let me know how it works.

  • It can improve your marriage:
    Many marriages start to fall into a state of disrepair once one spouse stops showing their gratitude to the other. The simple acts of kindness that once brought joy and a “thank you” fail to bring a reaction. Then those acts of kindness stops and you wonder why.

    It’s most likely because you stopped expressing your gratitude.

    Examine your marriage and decide today where you could better express your gratitude. Could you tell your wife “thank you for doing the dishes” or “I appreciate the dinner you cooked for me tonight?” Wives, have you been telling your husband “Thank you for mowing the lawn” or “Thank you for working so hard for the family?”

    Imagine the change it could bring to your marriage! I bet you your marriage would be transformed.

  • It can attract other happy people:
    Would you like to have more friends who are happy? Who cheer you one? Who lift you up?

    Well, Jim Rohn said you are the average of the five people you are around the most. Think about that for a minute.

    That would mean most happy people hang around with other happy people. They don’t form strong friendships with people who are negative. They look for people who are happy. People who are grateful.

    If you’re grateful, you’ll attract other grateful and happy people.

Are you ready to make the change today?

I know YOU are! You’re that type of person.

Starting thinking of who you’re grateful for. Now go and express it to them. Not only will they be pleased in knowing the impact they’ve had on your life, you’ll feel the effect of gratitude.

Question: Who do you need to express gratitude to today? What’s holding you back? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

    Attitude and gratitude set the chemical balance in your brain and changes your mood almost instantly. So many people let things that happen to them to affect them negatively. I always wear a smile no matter what I’m going through and show thanks to people no matter what because just that little smile or thank you could make someone’s day, week, month or year. Great Monday morning post as a reminder on how to start your week.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Good for you Lincoln! It’s amazing what a little smile can do for others and for yourself. Pretty hard to be down when you’re smiling.

      • Glenys Nellist

        What a great blog Joe..first time vsiiting today. And cultivating that gratitude attitude is such a important one to teach our kids :)

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    Joseph, I agree with you. I see all the time where peoplecsimply aren’t grateful. They become bittef and resentful. Thanks for the wake up call so that we can avoid that in our lives.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Larry, glad you liked it and you can see it as a wake up call. I’m always amazed by the amount of people who are ungrateful, even though they’re blessed and doing well.

      How do you keep your attitude of gratitude?

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Saying a heartfelt ‘thanks’ goes a long ways. I try to tell my spouse and loved ones how much I appreciate them all the time, but there are countless others I need to say thank you to. Thanks for inspiring me to tell some of my friends and acquaintances how valued they are.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I bet your friends and acquaintances will be surprised when they hear your gratitude. Let us know how it goes!

  • http://twitter.com/JoePasskiewicz Joe Passkiewicz

    Thanks Joe- appreciate your posts :)

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Haha, I see what you did there Joe! (-;

      And let me say thank you for all of your comments. They help keep the community going at this site.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    I know I need to express my grattitude to my wife, she has truly been amazing as I’ve been chasing my dreams! (and the kids too) great reminder Joe!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      So get to it Kimanzi! (-; I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to hear it!

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    I heard Oprah talk about having a grateful journey and to everyday write down what your grateful for.

    I think this topic is a mindset everyone needs to adapt into their life. To be thankful and grateful for what they have and show kindness to others. I make it a point to often show gratefulness to my wife and friends. Through words of encouragements and kindness.

    Great reminder.

    • http://chrisvonada.com chris vonada

      I’ve done this, writing down every day what you’re grateful for, it does help for sure!

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

        Chris,

        Have you seen the benefits from writing down what your grateful for? In what ways has it helped you?

        I makes sure to speak words of gratefulness everyday and need to start writing them down more.

        • http://chrisvonada.com chris vonada

          Probably the one area it has helped me the most is finding contentment in simple pleasures… the every day blessings that we often take for granted.

          • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

            Great point about finding contentment in simple pleasures, this is such an important aspect of living a good life.

            Lets keep being grateful.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I did something similar but for my wife. Last year I wrote down something each day that I was grateful for about her. It helped me realize, even more, how wonderful a wife I have.

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

        What a great idea Joe.

  • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon

    Awesome…an attitude of gratitude!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Yes Brandon, it’s an amazing thing!

  • http://rise365.com/ Michael Good

    Joe,
    Great reminder. This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. I think, like you’re saying here, it make ALL the difference in the world!

    I need to express gratitude to my wife, my son, and God for all the blessing he has given me.

    I’m trying to remember to be grateful with the little things like the sunshine, the fresh air, my health, my clients, library books, etc. All the things I’ve taken for granted on a daily basis for far too long.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Sometimes I think we have it too easy Michael. Like you said, you’re trying to be grateful for the sunshine, fresh air, health, etc… It’s so easy to take it for granted because they’re easily accessible to us. Now if we were in a foreign country, we’d start to realize how blessed we truly are.

      • http://rise365.com/ Michael Good

        Yeah, totally. I’ve done some travelling, but not a whole lot to less developed parts of the world.

        I did, however, go on a 2 week mission trip to Mexico in high school. Thinking back on that makes me realize how much I have to be grateful for.

  • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

    Great post Joe,

    I liked your point about happiness!
    Did you know that it’s actually scientifically proven that thankfulness makes us happier?
    Robert Emmons (Gratitude Researcher at the University of California) says:
    “Feeling thankful and expressing that thanks makes us happier and heartier. Once you get started, you find more and more things to be grateful for.”

    One more thing I love about gratitude is that it keeps me in God’s presence. I did some research for one of my blog posts a while back and found this amazing quote by Dr. Ron Breazeale in Psychology Today: “… when you are in a deep state of gratitude, you may feel the presence of grace… Learning to practice gratitude is one of life’s most valuable lessons.”
    Pretty awesome, isn’t it? This guy is not a Christian, but does a pretty good job in describing this.

    It’s also quite remarkable that Jesus multiplied the food just by giving thanks to God in Matthew 15. I believe Thankfulness has the ability to multiply what God is already doing in our lives.

    Blessings,
    Daniel

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Daniel,

      I did know that it was scientifically proven but I couldn’t find the reference. Thank you for sharing that it was Robert Emmons.

  • http://dbartosik.com/ david bartosik

    joe,

    I love your idea of happiness, but it seems limited. It still feels like your are attempting to find happiness in a temporal attitude of gratefulness. Albeit very altruistic and “fulfilling”, it seems in my mind to beg a the question of sustainability.

    HA! I don’t want to be bagging on gratefulness…I buy it. Its important. But what separates gratefulness from any other short term attempt at becoming happy.

    My mind goes to, why be grateful if there is a “easier” method to happiness.

    Whether a new car, drugs, or positive thinking…..what distinguishes gratefulness?

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      David,

      I see your point about it being used as a temporary solution to sadness. Yet I have found gratefulness to produce a new attitude in me and in others.

      When you’re truly grateful for what you have you find that you don’t really need a lot.

      In fact, one of the funny things that happened in the beginning of my marriage was my wife telling me how grateful she was for dirt and how amazing it was.

      The attitude of gratitude brought about amazing insights and love. I think that’s what separates it from the other attempts at happiness.

      • http://dbartosik.com/ david bartosik

        good word joe … just wanted to hear you articulate it :)

  • Rajdeep Paulus

    Joe, Great Blog! It doesn’t surprise me that the blog post that has brought the most amount of traffic thus far on my blog is called, “A Thank You Said and a Thank You Heard.” The comment section of that post brings tears to my eyes every time I revisit it. Because I reflect on two people who greatly influenced my life and have since passed away. Both too young to die, especially my friend from high school who left two very young daughters behind. I can’t thank enough. But I try better to thank timely, because as I found out, sometimes it’s too late. http://www.insearchofwaterfalls.com/2011/11/thank-you-said-and-thank-you-heard.html if you interested in checking it out! :) And Thanks! For the reminder.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Sounds like you touched the hearts of your readers Rajdeep. And it sounds like two people touched you profoundly. I’m sorry to hear that they’ve passed.

      I can’t wait to check out your blog post. Look for a comment from me tomorrow!

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I need to express gratitude to my wife – she’s incredible!

  • http://www.facebook.com/LisaRyan14 Lisa Ryan

    Wow, your article hit home in so many areas. I was stuck in the street last winter (one of the few snows we had), and a neighbor I had never met before came over with his super-duper snow blower and not only get me out of the street, he plowed my whole driveway. What a blessing – and YES, I was very grateful to him.

    I make it a habit to tell my husband how much I appreciate everything he does around the house – and he reciprocates. It’s because we don’t take each other for granted that 16 years after being married, I still feel like a honeymooner.

    Great article, thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Wow! That’s awesome that your neighbor went out of his way to help you get out of your driveway and then plowed your driveway. Bet that was a day of thankfulness!

      You’re also doing a great thing by encouraging and thanking your husband. That will continue to pay dividends long after expressing your gratitude.

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