Top 10 Benefits to a Gratitude Practice

Bonus: our team shares the most unusual things we are grateful for lately.

by Kari Bergman | October 2022

Alright y’all. This is going to be a quickie. 

There are infinite articles on gratitude. Why it is good, why you should do it, practices for how. This blog is not going to add anything new to the mix, but hopefully it will create a refreshing entry point to this timeless practice. 

It may be in part because “Consistency” is 34 of 34 in my Strengths assessment or that I can easily identify what could be better in my life or in the world, but I need regular reminders to get back on the gratitude train. 

In case you are samesies… read on for a list of the top benefits of gratitude and some unusual things for which our team is grateful. Hopefully, you will catch some inspiration and join the sacred practice of affirming all that is good around you.

Benefits of Gratitude:

One of the best resources for all things Gratitude is Berkeley’s Greater Good website. A major contributor to their catalog of articles, videos and essays is Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading scientific expert on gratitude (cool, Robert.)

Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness.
___

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D.

According to this list, pulled from Emmons’ research, gratitude is the silver bullet we are all looking for.

A regular gratitude practice:

  1. Brings us happiness and increases life satisfaction
  2. Boosts feelings of optimism, joy, pleasure, and enthusiasm
  3. Reduces anxiety and depression
  4. Strengthens immune system, lowers blood pressure, reduces illness 
  5. Increases sleep quality
  6. Builds resilience
  7. Strengthens relationships and connection
  8. Promotes forgiveness
  9. Leads to generosity
  10. Increases generosity and resiliency in kids

Because we would love to experience all of the above, our team has taken time to affirm the goodness of some simple, silly, and grand things. We hope they at the very least make you giggle.

Unusual things we’re grateful for.

Abbey Johnston

  • When my password gets accepted.
  • On Sunday when I realize Monday is a holiday. 
  • Eves – Christmas eve, Birthday eve…I love the experience of anticipation. 
  • Leaf blowers. They are amazing and it’s such gratifying work.
  • When I’m picking at my nail polish and it peels off in big pieces. So. Fun.  
  • Summer thunderstorms

Greg Mutch

  • Book recommendations. I’m more often the one recommending a book so when I get the juicy gift of a solid rec from someone else, I’m pretty stoked.
  • When I realize I scheduled my dental appointments and dog’s grooming months ahead of time
  • Cancellations. It’s usually a bummer but sometimes the free space is a gift from the heavens.
  • The beginning of a new journal

Kari Bergman

  • When people don’t ask me what I did this summer.
  • Do not disturb. I LOVE the new iOs features to customize who can ping me throughout the day and night. Ideally… nobody. 
  • The sight and sound of leaves dancing in the breeze
  • Having my hair washed by someone else. seriously, I will give you all of my money.

Kat Schulte

  • Timers on coffee machines.  I can set up my coffee in the evening, and in the morning I feel like I have a butler who makes me coffee 🙂
  • Carbonated water.  It is just the bestest thing, making hydration fun.
  • The Libby app at our library – ebooks and audiobooks available for free to everyone!  Really the Library in general.  One of the last places EVERYONE is welcome without spending money.  What a gem.  
  • Standup Comedians – they give me new perspectives on things in life I don’t otherwise notice, and bring light even in dark places.  And it is brave af to put yourself out there in front of a room of strangers to make them laugh.  Amazing.  
  • That I am old enough that my jams from HS and college are played in the grocery store.  Means I am old, I guess, but cheers to jamming in meijer. 

Abigail Verkaik

  • Lemongrass Zum Mist. Instant mood changer, makes me feel happy and alive. 
  • Grape Hi-Chews. I’m not sure how I have lived my entire life without these. 
  • A fresh, new overgrip on my pickleball paddle 😉
  • Mondays. For real. I love this team and love my job!

Vanessa Rodriguez

  • Rom-coms. I could  sit on the couch all day and watch the same cheesy tropes and be content. 
  • Candles. I love all the spiced and crisp smelling ones that are released in the fall and I’m counting down the days till I can snag some holiday ones at Yankee Candle…
  • Soft blankets. I have an oddly specific material preference when it comes to blankets, but when I find one I love it will not leave my lap until I’m forced to leave the house. 
  • Group Chats. Some people don’t love constant messages all day, but I love knowing that at any point during a hard day I can look at the funny tik toks or stories my friends and fam are sending in our group chats.

Begin today.

If you are ready to (re)engage your own gratitude practice try a few of these to start: 

  • Do it with your team. AGC has a monthly “Grats + Stats” connection where we get together and share things we want to celebrate about our work and one another. It is usually much heavier on grats than stats.
  • Get outside for a Sense + Savor walk
  • Build gratitude into your daily rhythm. Spark up a conversation around the dinner table each night or name 3 things you are grateful for to yourself before bed.

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