MoneyDo: Be Grateful.


Each week in MoneyDo, we focus on something you can do to try and help improve your financial picture or wealth state of being.

This week, we want to focus on being grateful. It doesn’t matter if you view your life as gift from a Creator or whether you believe you’re simply a bag of chemicals living out a sensory experience, research shows that being grateful is good for you.

  • Clinical trials show that being grateful can improve your immune function, lower your blood pressure, and even help set the stage for more efficient sleep[1].
  • One study showed that those who keep a gratitude journal – a notebook where you can record at least one thing you’re grateful for every day – have as much as 25 percent lower dietary fat intake[2].
  • Stress hormones like cortisol are 23 percent lower in grateful people[3].
  • Daily gratitude exercises could actually reduce the effects of aging on your brain[4].

There’s more. A study in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athlete’s self-esteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance[5].

A study in Behavior Research and Therapy found that gratitude lowers stress, and plays a major role in overcoming trauma, even helping those with PTSD[6].

Those are health benefits, but being grateful has financial implications, as well. A recent study had one group of folks write down something they were grateful for for five minutes, and another group write down the events of their day for five minutes.

Then the study had them all make a series of choices that would either result in receiving an amount of cash immediately or more cash in the future.

The grateful group performed over ten percent better, exhibiting more patience and self-control.[7]

But being grateful isn’t completely about what you get out of it. It’s a great place to interact with those around you, at work, at home, or in your neighborhood or church, and show appreciation for where you are and what you’ve got.

We might be healthier, and perhaps even richer if we’re grateful – but we’re also better people. In the long run, that will help your world, too.

So take a few minutes this Thanksgiving season – and perhaps every day – and be grateful.