People who are grateful for what they have instead of constantly aspiring for more usually display these 7 strengths

In today’s world, it’s easy to get caught up in constantly wanting more, right? More money, more gadgets, more designer gear, and more experiences. We want it all because we think we’ll be happy when we have more.

But have you ever paused for a moment, taken a deep breath, and looked around at what you already have? That’s right, I’m talking about gratitude. Being able to appreciate what you’ve got right now is proven to make you happier and healthier.   

“Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood, and immunity. Gratitude can decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain, and risk of disease” as outlined by health professional, Amanda Logan, APRN, C.N.P.

But here’s the cool part: practicing gratitude doesn’t just make you happier; it also arms you with an awesome set of strengths that really come in handy in life. 

Feeling intrigued? Stick around because we’re about to explore 7 strengths that people who are grateful for what they have instead of constantly aspiring for more usually display. 

And the best part of all? You can develop these strengths too by upping your gratitude game.  

Let’s dive in. 

1) They’re great at building relationships

As the old saying goes “it’s not what you know but who you know”. I’ve always found this to be true.

It doesn’t matter if it’s landing a great job or getting set up on a blind date, if there’s one strength that benefits every aspect of life, it’s being good at building relationships with others. And people who practice gratitude regularly know all about this one.

As outlined by global health professional, Najma Khorrami M.P.H, regularly expressing gratitude helps to strengthen relationships in many different ways:

  • Shows you care
  • Acknowledges a good deed 
  • Generates goodwill
  • Fuels positivity 
  • Paves the way for more kindness

It’s nice to be around people who appreciate you, right? So it’s probably not surprising that people who are grateful are also great at making friends and building relationships.

2) They’re positive and resilient

Think of the most positive and resilient person you know, have you noticed that they also regularly show their appreciation for even the small things? 

People who choose to be grateful for what they have instead of constantly aspiring for more tend to be more optimistic and bounce back from upsets more quickly. 

You’re probably wondering how gratitude helps positivity and resilience, right? 

2016 research found that boosting positive emotions can reduce the impact of stress and make you more resilient. One simple way to feel more positive is by practicing gratitude.

Being able to be positive and resilient in the face of tough times is a life hack that everyone could benefit from, how great is it that you can develop this strength by simply being more thankful for what you’ve got? 

3) They’re patient and good at making decisions

Making good decisions is hard, right? It’s always tempting to make a quick decision that leads to short-term happiness instead of being patient and choosing what’s best long-term. Gratitude can help with this. 

As outlined by Forbes, research suggests that people who are in a state of gratitude are more likely to show patience and make better decisions than those who are feeling either neutral or happy. And it rings true in practice as well. 

Executive coach, Juliann Wiese notes “In my coaching practice, I’ve observed that once people shift their focus to what’s already worthwhile in their lives–instead of what they think they are missing–their decision-making skills rapidly improve.”

It’s simple but true, if you want to make better decisions, start by being grateful for what you’ve already got instead of constantly longing for more. 

4) They’ve got a lot of empathy

One of the most powerful strengths these individuals possess is empathy. They’ve got a knack for being able to put themselves in your shoes. It’s like no matter what you’re going through, they just get you. 

Do you know anyone with a lot of empathy? 

Chances are, they’re probably also big on gratitude because research has found there’s a link between being grateful and having lots of empathy

A 2020 study found that the participants who were grateful also had stronger feelings of empathy for others. Experts aren’t sure why gratitude provokes empathy but it could be because noticing how good others are, makes you more understanding and tuned into their needs. 

This reminds me of my friend Anita. She’s all about appreciating what she’s got in life and she’s also the most empathetic and understanding person ever. Last week she noticed I was a little stressed out so she took me for coffee and let me vent, it was exactly what I needed. 

But it’s not just Anita, grateful people usually have bucketloads of empathy, and it’s one of their biggest strengths.  

5) They sleep better

want to sleep well every night People who are grateful for what they have instead of constantly aspiring for more usually display these 7 strengths

There’s nothing quite like a good night’s sleep, right? 

When you get a great night’s sleep everything is better. You feel less stressed and more energized and it’s even linked to better memory and overall improved health. The benefits of sleeping are endless so it makes sense to do whatever you can to improve your sleep. 

Why not try practicing gratitude more regularly? 

Turns out: folks who actively appreciate what they’ve got enjoy better sleep than the rest of us. Instead of being focused on negative things that’ll keep them up at night, people who practice gratitude are thinking positive thoughts and reflecting on things they’re grateful for. 

“With positive thoughts as a lullaby, you’re more likely to drift off into a peaceful slumber.” explains health and psychology writer Linda Wasmer Andrews.

Get better sleep by simply being grateful. It’s that easy.

6) They’ve got high self-esteem

People who are grateful for what they’ve got tend to be more self-assured. You might be wondering why this is a strength. 

Here’s the scoop: research carried out by the University of California, Davis, and the University of Bern has uncovered several benefits of having high self-esteem.  

“Their findings show that people with high self-esteem generally have more success at school and work, better social relationships, improved mental and physical health, and less anti-social behavior. And, these benefits persist from adolescence to adulthood and into old age.” 

Life sounds a lot better for people who have high self-esteem and one simple what that you can increase yours is by being thankful for what you’ve got. 

7) They’re more content and enjoy better mental health

Last but certainly not least, people who are grateful for their lot in life are happier and suffer less from mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

I’ve experienced this firsthand. I started my gratitude journal just over a year ago, I simply list a few things I’m grateful for each night before going to sleep and the impact has been huge.

Within a few weeks, I felt less stressed about work and I also noticed my mood was just better. Little frustrations didn’t bother me as much and I wasn’t as quick to lose my cool with my friends and family. 

All of these small things add up and I can say that I feel much happier since I started being more intentional about being thankful. I can’t recommend it enough. 

Final thoughts

There you have it, 7 strengths that people who are grateful for what they have, naturally enjoy. 

Instead of constantly aspiring for more why not focus on being grateful for what you’ve got? Not only will you reap the numerous health benefits of gratitude, you’ll also be well on your way to developing some of these strengths too. 

The first step for all of this is to make gratitude part of your daily routine. 

Picture of Cat Harper

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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