Attitude of Gratitude: How Gratitude Has an Impact on Self-Esteem
Gratitude is a powerful feeling. It can make you feel better about yourself in a variety of ways by helping you to improve your self-esteem. What you probably aren’t aware of is that gratitude works to help you improve your overall sense of well-being, all year round.
How Gratitude Can Help
Expressing gratitude on a daily basis can help you boost your mood and self-esteem in many ways, including:
- Helping you appreciate your positive life experiences
- Improving your sense of self-worth
- Providing an effective way of coping with stress and trauma
- Encouraging the tendency for you to improve your moral behavior
- Helping you build, and strengthen social bonds
- Keeping you in the present, helping you learn not to take things for granted, and not to dwell on past negative experiences
- Reducing the incidence of emotions like bitterness, greed or anger
Accentuate the Positive
People have the tendency to focus on negative feelings, which can bring on anxiety, depression and even compromise your physical health. Focusing on positive feelings, and the positive things that happen in your life from day to day, can help you reverse those tendencies. It can lighten your mood and improve your outlook on life in general. Consciously expressing thanks daily can help you focus on the positive influences in your life, and deflect the negative feelings that come your way.
There is a field of medicine called positive psychology. It addresses what is most important to people and how they can incorporate a positive sense of well-being into the beliefs that you value. Positive psychologists concentrate on what they consider to be a core of “signature strengths” that people have. These strengths can help you build up feelings that make you feel better about yourself. One of those signature strengths is gratitude.
Making Gratitude a Daily Commitment
There are many ways to incorporate gratitude into your daily life, most of which are easy to do.
The first, and probably easiest, is to start saying thank you to people when they help you out. You may already do this subconsciously, but try to make a point of noticing when you say thank you, and how it makes you feel. Thanking someone for their help can make that person feel good, which in turn can spark a good feeling in yourself for making someone else’s day that much better. It is truly a small effort that can reap you great emotional rewards.
Keeping a gratitude journal is another way to easily incorporate thankfulness into your life. Keep a notebook and pen on your bedside table, and each night, before you go to bed, spend just a minute or two recording even one thing that made your day better, for which you can be thankful. Eventually, it will become second nature to record those thoughts, and help you trend away from focusing on the parts of your life that can bring you down.
Your mood can hold you back or allow you to see the world for all the good that it can offer. Improving your self-esteem is the key to being able to absorb positive feelings instead of negative ones, and gratitude is a powerful tool to keep in your arsenal.