The Benefits of Thankfulness

It seems a bit cliché to begin a blog post these days by saying “it’s been a crazy year”, but who am I kidding? It HAS been a crazy year. Between the pandemic, the lockdowns, the wildfires from last summer, and this year’s drought, there has been a lot for us to be concerned about. When I was brainstorming topics for this blog, my first instinct was to write about one of those calamities and what impact it will have on the coming year. After failing to find inspiration in any of these topics, I decided to pivot and focus on the positive. Rather than giving tips on what you can do to save water and help mitigate drought conditions, I’m going to give the best advice I can on how to improve your life overall: be thankful.

There really isn’t anything novel about this concept. You can find inspirational quotes about giving thanks on every corner of the Internet. As great as these quotes are, even they don’t fully capture why gratitude is so important. Studies have shown that expressing gratitude can lead to significant improvements in physical, mental, and social well-being. Grateful people exercise more, are more empathetic, have higher self-esteem, and have better relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. Best of all, being grateful is probably the most cost-effective way to improve virtually every aspect of your life (as an accountant, I cannot emphasize this point enough). As the early-1900s author Fred De Witt Van Amburgh once said, “gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.”

Even after a century’s worth of inflation, those words are still true today. There are many different ways to practice gratitude in your life, and most of them are free! The key is to figure out which gratitude exercise works best for you (prayer, meditation, and journaling are a few possible examples) and to turn it into a daily habit. Gratitude is a skill, and like any other skill, it takes practice. The lasting benefits of gratitude aren’t going to show up right away, but they will gradually increase over time the more practice that you put in. With all that’s going on in the world today, there’s no better time to start honing this skill than right now!

About the Author

Tim Peters is a consultant with Morrison, working primarily in our Business & Accounting Advisory practice. To get in touch with Tim, please find contact information for Morrison here.


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