The concepts of gratitude and Thanksgiving go hand-in-hand. The season is a time to reflect on the sources of joy and hope in our lives, and to look back with gratitude for our many blessings.
Oprah Winfrey puts it this way, “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”
Last year, we talked about the power of gratitude for your improving mental and physical well-being. But what about the benefits gratitude brings to your money mindset and overall financial well-being? Let’s dig in.
Benefits of Gratitude for Your Financial Well-Being
When you think about your finances, it’s easy to be thankful for the money to meet your needs. But there’s more to the effect gratitude has on your financial life.
1. Gratitude Leads to a Positive Money Mindset
If you’ve ever explored the concept of money mindset, you’ve probably heard of abundance mindset and scarcity mindset. Your thoughts about money, aka your mindset, plays a significant role in how you live, spend, save, and invest your money. There’s a difference between a mind that constantly thinks about what you don’t have and one that appreciates the things you already have.
That’s the scarcity vs. abundance mindset.
A scarcity mindset is the belief that you don’t have enough—whether it’s time, money, or connection. This fear-based mindset may cause you to hoard savings or possessions or remain in a static situation. In contrast, an abundance mindset focuses on what you already have, and believes that there’s plenty out there with enough to spare for everybody. An abundance mindset is a growth mindset, and that translates to your financial wealth. You make things happen and go after what you want, knowing that endless possibilities exist.
2. Gratitude Quells the Need for Instant Gratification
According to the Psychological Science Association, practicing gratitude can counteract the tendency for impulse spending. When you feel grateful for the things in your life, you realize that you are richer than you think.
Gratitude also links to a bigger bank account balance, healthy investment portfolios, and immense satisfaction over spending decisions. As you’re grateful for what you already have, your desire to spend reduces. And the less you spend, the more money you have in your account balance.
Because gratitude takes you out of the immediate moment, you can refocus on value-based decision-making, like long-term financial retirement planning and building investment portfolios.
3. Gratitude Shifts Your Focus Back to True Priorities
When you focus on what you have versus what you think you need, you eliminate the urge to spend on possessions that won’t increase your happiness.
When something makes you feel good, it’s natural to want more of it. And usually, you want it right away. But being grateful for what you already have moves your focus back to what’s really important, like family, lifestyle goals, long-term financial planning, etc.
For example, rather than buying new clothes, an extra dessert, or a spontaneous trip, consider making a charitable donation. It helps others, and helps you save on taxes.
4. Gratitude Can Relieve Financial Stress
Financial stress is not just an economic issue; it’s strongly connected to our mental health. As a result of consistent positive thinking, you become more patient and closely look at all your options instead of stressing about what you cannot afford.
Practice Gratitude to Boost Your Financial Well Being
Building wealth is not just about money. It’s also very much about your mindset. And practicing gratitude is a vital component of a money mindset. Gratitude can shift your mindset from hoarding cash to investing it—from making poor financial decisions out of fear to realizing your opportunities are limitless.
If you’re not sure how to practice and cultivate gratitude as you approach retirement, start by:
- Celebrating small wins
- Writing down things you’re grateful for each day
- Saying ‘thank you’ more often
- Donating to charity
- Using gratitude affirmations and other gratitude exercises
As we approach the holiday season, I encourage you to focus on the bounty of what you have now, rather than what’s missing. A daily acknowledgment of gratitude will ultimately boost your financial life and overall health and wellness.
From the entire team at Wealth Legacy Institute, we wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
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