There Are More Benefits To Gratitude Than You Think

As we approach Thanksgiving, it’s a great opportunity to ponder whether you live in a state of abundance or scarcity (regardless of your circumstances).  While your fundamental attitude and personality type influence your views, there is an opportunity to shift your mindset with intentional focus.

Here are seven benefits of gratitude (source):

  1. Gratitude opens the door to relationships. Showing appreciation helps make  and maintain friendships.
  2. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains.
  3. Gratitude improves psychological health by reducing toxic emotions and negativity.
  4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. You will be less likely to retaliate against others, even when faced with negative feedback.
  5. Grateful people sleep better.
  6. Gratitude improves self-esteem by reducing social comparisons. Being happy for others’ accomplishments reduces envy and keeps people from feeling inadequate in comparison.
  7.  Gratitude increases mental strength. An attitude of abundance is helpful in overcoming trauma and a major contributor to resilience.

Feeling grateful for what is, or what could be, can help you reshape what you already have with positive effects. 

 

Feeling grateful for what is, or what could be, can help you reshape what you already have with positive effects.

The Abundance vs Scarcity mindset (source)

By focusing on scarcity and on things that you lack, you can often (ironically) invite more of those things into your life. By thinking about your bills, debts, hardships and frustrating relationships, your energy is drained and you can be trapped in a loop that finds and focuses on examples of them (self-fulfilling prophecies).

Abundance on the other hand, is a different kind of mindset and it leads us to a different path in life. It focuses on the things that we have and are thankful for, and on the great experiences that we come across in our journey.  It also includes a proactive stance to encourage putting energy into the right directions for you.

It is much easier to focus on gratitude when you look around at a world that is already filled with good things. However, in order to get to a life of gratitude in the first place, you have to start thinking about it, and adjust the lens of how you perceive your situation. In other words the mindset comes first!  When our children were younger, part of the bedtime routine was for each child to tell me three things they were thankful for that day (the family dog got lots of shout-outs!).  We heard some amazing, heart -warming (and often silly) things on the gratitude recitals, however it really was a great way to end a day.  It is still a family tradition to talk openly about gratitude.

Here is another source:

“The scarcity mindset revolves around the idea that there simply isn’t enough to go around, always focusing on the extreme short term of every decision. Typically, the abundance mentality focuses on the long-term and involves a deep understand that just because you don’t get to have something right now does not mean you won’t be able to have it later.

Obviously, personal finance is much easier if you have an abundance mindset. You don’t feel the need to spend money as soon as you get it because you know there will always be more of it.”

Here are eight tactics to switch to an abundance mindset:

Have appreciative conversations.

Focus on things you do have rather than things you don’t. Focus on the big things you and your loved ones are working toward. Talk about achievements.

Organize your home and life.

You’ll be able to see how much you do have and how much time is available to put to good use.

Reduce media consumption.

Media cultivates desire for things you don’t have, a key element of scarcity. Advertisements are bad enough, but sometimes it’s the programs or articles themselves that contribute to the mentality. Use the time instead to do something for yourself, something outside or with your hands. Ground yourself in your life instead of wishing for a life that seems out of reach.

Share with others.

Sharing feels good, and you’ve improved someone else’s life, however marginally. Plus, you don’t often miss what you’ve shared. When you share regularly, people are more likely to share in return, fulfilling your life in ways you might not have attempted before. It’s also not just about money or stuff, but sharing time and attention and knowledge and friendships.

Try to create win-win situations.

Scarcity believes that for every one winner, there are one or more losers. Not everyone wins because there isn’t enough to go around. Combat this by creating situations where everybody gains. Host potluck dinners, swap tasks with people who don’t have your skillset who can do something you can’t, so you both come out better.

Look for positives even in the losses.

Sometimes bad things happen. More often than not, there are positives hidden in the negatives. Lose your job? Maybe you’ll find something closer and a better match for your life chapter. A close friend moves away? Maybe you’ll have the chance to travel somewhere new to see them, and when they’re gone, your time with another friend may grow. Keep in mind that at least some good can come out of most situations, and even with really bad circumstances, there’s growth to be had.

Stop comparing yourself to others.

When someone gets something you don’t have, that doesn’t mean you’ll never have it, or something else equally good. Be happy for them and tell yourself your turn is coming. Social media is particularly bad for comparisons, because people post about the highlights of their life, so everything looks rosier than reality. If you’re comparing the entirety of your life, good, bad and ugly, to someone else’s highlights, of course it’s going to be difficult to keep up. This is where cutting back on media helps.

Keep a gratitude journal.

Spending time every day noting the good things in your life helps keep a positive perspective. So even if something bad happens, you can see that it didn’t happen to everything in your life. Every day, big or small, there are moments of joy to be savored. Keeping a journal helps you seek those moments out and remember them for later to write down, and in the remembering, you’re giving them more importance than the negativity weighing you down.

Sending gratitude and an abundant mindset to each of you as you launch into the holidays.


EARTH EQUITY ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. INFORMATION PRESENTED IS FOR EDUCATONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF ANY SPECIFIC SECURITIES, INVESTMENTS, OR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES. INVESTMENTS INVOLVE RISK AND UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO FIRST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISER AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY STRATEGY DISCUSSED HEREIN.

The Power of Choice

We warmly welcome John Lanier, Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, as he discusses in this guest editorial the power of choice, consideration for the choices we make, and how our decisions affect those around us. 

— Pete Krull


Recently, I’ve been thinking about choice.

We have more choices than we realize. First, there are the obvious ones we are capable of making:

  • What should I wear for the day?
  • What strikes my fancy on the menu this evening?
  • Do I swipe left or right?

Those are all the “what” choices of our lives. They are conscious decisions that have observable results and consequences. However, what we decide to do is not the only thing that matters. The “how” is equally important, if not more so.

How do you comfort someone who has just lost a loved one? How patient are you with your children when they ask the same question for the fortieth time? How sincere are you when you congratulate the person who received the promotion you wanted?

Frequently, these choices don’t feel like we have control over them. Too often, we simply call them “emotional reactions” and take them as a given. I think we sell ourselves short when we dismiss these choices so easily. We can choose to be kind, generous, brave, resilient and moral. Those decisions are hard or easy depending on our circumstances and our personality, but they are still our choices.

Every day, I make a choice about how to do my job, a job that I love dearly and for which I am so grateful. I am the executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, a private family foundation that is committed to advancing the legacy of our namesake. Ray was the founder of Interface, Inc., the world’s largest carpet tile manufacturer, and he was committed to making his business as environmentally sustainable as possible until his passing in 2011.  He was my grandfather, and I hope to honor him by supporting environmental initiatives with grants from the estate he left to this Foundation.

Simply put, I have the responsibility to give large sums of money to certain organizations, as well as the responsibility to decline grant requests from other organizations that don’t align with our priorities.

I’m very aware that a lot is at stake. Our grants fund important work and employ passionate, committed individuals. The grants we don’t make might very well mean that other important work can’t be pursued by equally passionate, committed individuals.

Who am I to be worthy of making those decisions? I didn’t earn the dollars that we give away. They came from my grandfather’s hard work and dedication. How could I possibly earn the right to be a philanthropist in this way?

The short answer is that I can’t earn it. Rather, this work of carrying on my grandfather’s legacy is a gift, and how I receive that gift is reflected in how I do my job and the choices I make.

I strive to be humble. I never stop learning about the environmental challenges and opportunities that our societies face. I embrace a spirit of gratitude, because our Foundation doesn’t do the work of enriching our natural systems. Rather, our partners do that work, and they do it so very well.

I am not entitled to do this work. This work has been entrusted to me. I accept it willingly, but with the understanding that I have an immense responsibility to be a good steward of that which is not mine. I hope that how I do this work makes my family and my grandfather proud.


John Anderson Lanier is the Executive Director of The Ray C. Anderson Foundation.

Lanier’s passion for environmental stewardship was sparked by Ray’s example and story, and he never tires of sharing this story with others. Lanier currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Southface, the southeast’s nonprofit leader in the promotion of sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Project Drawdown and Chattahoochee NOW. Finally, he serves on the Committee for Service and Spirituality for the Marist School Alumni Association in Atlanta. Learn more about the Ray C. Anderson Foundation here.


EARTH EQUITY ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. INFORMATION PRESENTED IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF ANY SPECIFIC SECURITIES, INVESTMENTS, OR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES. INVESTMENTS INVOLVE RISK AND UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO FIRST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISER AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY STRATEGY DISCUSSED HEREIN.