It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of our fast-paced world. Sometimes it can be tough to appreciate what’s right in front of you. Around Thanksgiving, thankfully, we are often forced to pause and reflect. To think about all that we have, and what we are grateful for and what is it that really makes us wealthy. So, here’s a question about giving thanks: Does being grateful make you wealthier?
In general, it’s a good thing to be thankful but you may find that it also has other benefits. In fact, quite a bit of research suggests that slowing down to recognize what you’re thankful for can improve your emotional and physical well-being.
But what about your financial health? Can gratitude beef up your bank account? Does being grateful make you wealthier? Let’s see what the research says. Turns out that being grateful may also make you wealthier. Here’s why:
You might just spend less.
Research has found that reflecting on what you’re grateful for can help make you less materialistic. And the happier you are about what you have, the less likely you are to waste money on “retail therapy” – buying new things you don’t need just to help make yourself feel better.
A better chance of success.
The same study found that a sense of gratitude can inspire you to take a step back and examine a problem with a fresh perspective. This can help you be more focused, creative, and productive – all traits that may bring about greater success. After all, who wants to work for someone who’s grumpy and ungrateful?
The happy factor.
Yet another study found that self-described “happy” teenagers had greater life satisfaction at age 22 and earned more money by the time they were 29. And a Psychological Science article cited by Today noted that thankfulness can trigger financial patience – the ability to resist short-term gratification, so you can hold out for long-term monetary gain.
Be careful. Don’t get too self-focused.
Too much of a good thing can always be a problem. (Case in point: Me with jelly beans or cookies). As good as being grateful may be for your personal bottom line, you may also find that too much wealth may make you less compassionate as empathy for others may decline. Neuroscience research seems to indicate that those who may be wealthier may be more self-focused and care less about others. The thinking goes that with more resources a person can feel less dependent on others and think less about what others may need.
So there you have it. A lot of studies! But they all point to the benefits of being grateful.
Building up your gratitude muscle is good for you. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, or any holiday – stopping to appreciate what we have can help in a lot of ways. Of course, it’s suggested that we do it more often – even nightly.
How do we do it? Well, some people write what they’re grateful for in a notebook. Others use apps or meditation. Others share their thoughts on social media. Whatever works for you. But by building a gratitude regime into your daily routine, you may find that as your happiness increases, your bank account balance does as well. And hey, at the very least it feels good and as Pete the Cat sings: it’s all good.
If you’d like an objective second opinion about your finances and are looking for a road map on how to live better by planning well, please reach out to Steve Stanganelli, CFP®, CRPC®, AEP® at Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. Email him at Steve@ClearViewWealthAdvisors.com.