“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”

– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Gratitude is a popular topic in positive thinking circles, and for good reason. Keeping a heart full of gratitude can have far reaching effects in multiple areas of your life.

Remaining grateful is not a secret potion that magically fixes all the problems in your life, but it can produce personal changes that result in your betterment. I’m not going to deep dive into how to remain grateful. 

There are multiple resources out there that can point you toward how to remain grateful, including resources on this blog. The most basic way of staying grateful is training your mind to look for things to be grateful for on a regular basis.

The main thing I want to do in this article is to show you 5 of the most powerful side effects of gratitude.

1. Positive Mindset

“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.”

– Amy Collette

Starting every day with gratitude is a surefire way to tune your mind towards positive things in life. The more you see the good things in your life that you have been given, the more you will grow eyes to see good in all things. When your mind is set in a state of gratitude it has the effect of making you more attentive to things to be grateful for. What an amazing discovery this was in my own life!

I have found that the more I practice gratitude on a regular basis the more I see the beauty in my everyday life. Seeing, and being grateful for, my amazing family and friends restores my belief that there are genuinely good people in this world.

Showing gratitude for my freedom in America makes me more aware of the multitude of freedoms I have in all areas of my life. Being grateful for blessings and material things I’ve been given keeps my eyes open to show gratitude for even the smallest things that come my way.

Start your day with thinking of a few things you have to show gratitude for and see if your mind isn’t drawn toward more things as the day progresses. The more you look for benefits that you already experience, the more you will grow eyes to see the positive things that are all around you.

2. Patience

Not only can gratitude give you eyes to see the good in life, but it can help you build patience and long-suffering with the difficult aspects of life.

If my mind is ungrateful and bitter, I will fight against hard circumstances that come my way. Rather if my heart is in a state of gratitude, I will bear with difficult situations much more gracefully.

Why is this?

Gratitude can help produce the understanding that I’ve already been given a myriad of blessings, so it’s only natural to expect some less than ideal things as well. Without gratitude, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by negative circumstances and believe that I am being treated unfairly. But with gratitude I don’t act from a victim or “poor me” mindset, rather from a mindset of one who has been given good things in life.

In this way, a grateful heart can help guard you against not only negative circumstances, but also from a negative mindset. Gratitude is a great tool in the journey towards patience and can help you bear with bad situations.

3. Improved relationships

We’ve all been around that person that is constantly grumbling and complaining. For myself, I’ve even been that person for periods of time. Nobody wants to be around somebody like that. It brings down everybody around you.

When you are grateful it can certainly improve your relationships. You will be more focused on good things to bring into the conversation instead of complaints or negativity. With a grateful heart you will become more likely to talk about the positives in your life and other people will feed off that energy.

Everyone is putting off energy, is yours one of gratitude or ungratefulness?See for yourself if gratitude doesn’t improve the relationships in your life.

4. A Giving Heart

The most generous people in the world are those who are grateful for what they already have. Those who are ungrateful will have the tendency to hold onto what they have, feeling like they haven’t been given enough.

Gratitude can help fuel a life of generosity with great vigor. If you are content and happy with the things in your life the next step is to pass it on to others. In this way gratitude can be a great motivator towards giving to those in need

5. Hope

“Today I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit, and the voice of hope that says all things are possible.”

–  Anonymous

Remembering the good things and people in my life gives me hope for more good to come. Hope is such a crucial part of any well-balanced life. Many of us have spent time being hopeless and know the gut wrenching emptiness that it can bring.

I certainly have spent long periods of time, even years, trapped and feeling like my best days were behind me. Gratitude can not only help guard against that feeling of emptiness, but it can also actively promote the production of hope in your life.

There is no doubt in my mind that a heart filled with gratitude is also a heart that is filled with hope. As gratitude shifts your focus to a more positive outlook you will almost naturally begin to expect good things to come your way.

Whereas, an ungrateful heart sees the worst in everything a grateful heart believes more blessings are headed its way. If you are experiencing a lack of hope in your life see if shifting your mindset towards gratitude doesn’t begin to help you see the hope of better days.

These are just 5 of the most powerful effect of gratitude, but the benefits are endless. If you struggle with keeping your mind positive and are striving to have healthier thoughts, add gratitude to your life. It is such a little thing that can make a huge impact on every area of your life.

What’s stopping you from finding something to be grateful for this very second? Live a life with gratitude and watch your life transform.

Written By: Chris Bryant, Author of We All Need Hope

Mental Olympian Newsletter

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