An overwhelming number of Americans are stressed about their finances regularly. Many people are living paycheck to paycheck and feel as if they barely have enough to make ends meet. This can make finances seem hard and contentment and gratitude about your situation seem even more impossible.
I’m a firm believer in the power of your mindset and how it can impact every area of your life. Adopting an attitude of gratitude can improve your relationship with money and even improve your finances in the long run. Here’s why gratitude works and how it can help your financial situation.
Gratitude Can Change Your Mindset
Being grateful for your situation or something in your life can shift your entire mindset. Gratitude starts as a thought or feeling and your thoughts determine your actions and state of being.
If you are constantly thinking about how you don’t have enough or how money isn’t working for you, you’ll be in a constant state of stress and fear. It’s hard to operate with a scarcity mindset like this.
However, if you shift your thinking to more thoughts of gratitude, you’ll adopt an abundance mindset which is very important for financial success. An Abundance mindset means you believe there’s plenty for everyone and for you too. You’re not fearful about building wealth or pursuing your own financial goals. If you’re grateful for what you do have, you genuinely believe there’s more money to go around and you open yourself up to more opportunities that allow you to be prosperous.
When you’re grateful for what you have, you are less likely to overspend which can help improve your finances. Think of it this way. The brain is very complex but also very simple. Either you’re discontent and focused on what you don’t have, or you’re focusing on being grateful for what you do have.
This means if you go on Instagram and see an influencer pushing a product, you may not even feel tempted to get it if you’re feeling content about your situation. Overall, you’ll do a better job of sticking to your budget since you don’t feel like you need more. This also means you’ll be able to save more money easily as well.
RELATED: 6 Reasons You Overspend Your Budget
Find Fulfillment and Growth in Your Finances
By focusing on what you’re grateful for, you’re more likely to be fulfilled when it comes to your money. There are so many times during the day where we are faced with the temptation to buy or do more. Discontentment sets in easily whether we realize we could use a pair or new shoes or our house is not as big as our friend’s home.
When you practice gratitude, you’re able to make the most of whay you do have. You can start to enjoy the line items in your budget that are in line with your values whether that’s spending time with family or even donating a small amount to a cause you care about.
Realize that you don’t need a ton of money to be happy and content. In fact, the people who strive to earn more in hopes of increasing their happiness rarely ever do so. Money is not everything. What’s more important is your mindset and what you do with what you have. Even if your situation isn’t perfect, try to find fulfillment in your job, your home, and other aspects of your life.
This will open you up to more growth opportunities so you can continue to improve your finances overall.
Less Stress Overall
Finally, gratitude can help improve your finances by eliminating the stress you have surrounding money. Many of us are chasing a moving goal post. We do or buy one thing and it makes us feel good for a moment. Then, we’re discontent again and working toward the next thing. The cycle can go on for the rest of your life if you let it.
Do you really want to be constantly stressed out about getting the next new car, a bigger house, designer clothes for your kids, and so on? You have to ask yourself when does it ever end. Also, realize that you have to control your finances and your thoughts.
This means you can choose not to let society and the pressure to keep up with the Joneses take over. You can choose to be content and grateful for your current situation. As a result, you’ll release all that stress and pressure to perform and constantly do more with your money.
How to Start Practicing Gratitude
By now, I hope I’ve sold you on the idea of how gratitude can help improve your finances and your life in general. It’s a very powerful thing and I encourage you to start practicing gratitude in your daily life.
If you aren’t used to it, you may find it a little challenging to shift your thoughts. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Even if you’re not a writer, you should still consider journaling as it can be a great way to express yourself and refocus your mind. Get a gratitude journal or just a plain notebook and spend 5 minutes jotting what you’re grateful for each morning.
I purchased a gratitude journal on Amazon for just a few bucks and I absolutely love it. The prompts are very encouraging and it just takes me two minutes to write something down each day. Writing down what you’re grateful for actually makes it seem more tangible. That way, you’ll be focusing less on lack and more on the abundance in your life.
Use and Cherish Your Items
How often do you take things for granted? You can practice gratitude by making a more conscious effort to use and truly appreciate the things you have. Clean out your car even if it’s old or organize an area of your home. Consider hosting friends over for dinner and board games so you can enjoy the space you do have. Or, create a capsule wardrobe of your favorite clothing pieces that make you feel confident and comfortable.
If your kids are complaining that they’re bored on the weekends, direct them to toys they haven’t played with in a while or dust off that video game console and play a game together.
When you actually use and cherish the things you have, it makes you more appreciative of the fact that they’re there.
Limit Your Time on Social Media
Social media can lead to a lot of negative feelings that combat your ability to be grateful. Everyone posts the highlights of their lives, their seemingly “perfect” and so on. Simply spending too much time on social media can make you feel like you’re missing out or not enough.
Try deleting social apps from your phone for a week or two and see how you feel. You can also set timers to limit how much time you spend on certain apps. That way, you’ll spend more of your time in the real world vs a curated social platform.
Donate to a Cause You Care About
Being generous and giving to others is a great way to practice gratitude in your own life. I know so many people who want to donate and help others but don’t feel like they have enough. Again, this is scarcity mindset creeping back in.
If you can afford to spare $10 to $20, take that money out of the bank and use it to do good. You can donate to a charity, pay for someone’s coffee in the morning, or give to another person who’s in need. Money is not meant to be hoarded and trust me, the more you give, the more it will come back to you in the future anyway.
Another easy way to practice gratitude and improve your finances is to watch what you say. If you catch yourself complaining or about to complain, turn that into a positive statement or just don’t say anything at all. Complaining just breeds discontentment.
Things will go wrong in your life and it can be frustrating, but it’s ultimately all about how you handle it and move forward.
Summary: Start Practicing Gratitude and Improve Your Finances
If you want to improve your finances, you’ll need to start by improving your mindset. Gratitude is a very powerful thing to help you with this. Now that you know the benefit is expressing more gratitude, it’s time to intentionally find ways to be grateful each day and reap the benefits. Use these tips to help you make progress.