Greatful is not actually a word, it’s a misspelling of the word grateful. I understand why you might have spelled grateful as greatful, its a common mistake that thousands of people make all the time. I do the same and I do it frequently. There’s something about the word great that resonates with gratitude so we naturally lean toward spelling grateful as greatful.
I have had a close relationship with both words throughout my life. As a schoolboy I always spelled grateful as greatful and even into my late twenties I would still spell this word incorrectly, hell, im doing it right now. I was taught from a young age by my mother to be grateful for what I have. Whenever I was upset my mother would tell me to look around at what I have and to find something to be grateful for. She called this practicing gratitude.
I wouldn’t always want to play along but I knew that when I practiced gratitude I felt better afterward. You seeing the correlation here? Practicing gratitude made me realize that life wasn’t all that bad. I am positive this is why I sometimes still spell grateful as greatful.
Greatful or Grateful
We have established that greatful is not the correct spelling of grateful. For the sake of this article and the message I want to bring across to you I will be peppering the incorrect spelling of grateful throughout. Just to act as a reminder of the benefits of gratitude and the great power that comes with practicing gratitude on a regular basis. See if you can spot the incorrect spelling throughout.
“Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
The Power Of Gratitude
Take a moment right now, just where you are, and think of something that you are greatful for. This can be a person, a situation or an outcome. Perhaps it’s your career or your spouse. It could be your home or your car, maybe it’s the fact that you can walk and talk. You can choose anything that you feel you want to be grateful for.
Focus on the thing, dont think too much. Bring your attention to your chest as you allow yourself to be grateful.
What do you feel?
When I practice gratitude I can feel my chest opening up and I can feel tension leaving my body. As I am being grateful I can feel peace flowing through my chest and into the rest of my being. I find it to be a mindful and meditative state, a place of peace and acceptance.
This is the power of gratitude. When we practice it on a regular basis we can experience the many benefits it brings to our lives. Not only does it affect us on a personal level but it will also affect the people around us. Partners, children and strangers alike will all feel the profound effects of your gratitude.
Benefits Of Gratitude
The benefits of gratitude are really endless. There are numerous studies that suggest a variety of benefits associated with the simple act of being grateful in your everyday life. Listed below in no particular order are the most impressive benefits in my opinion.
“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others.” — Dalai Lama
1. Gratitude makes us happier
When we experience gratitude it makes us feel good. By being grateful for what we have instead of focusing on what we dont have we develop a positive outlook on life. We become positive about ourselves and our situations and in turn we ultimately become happier people.
In this way by simply being greatful we propel ourselves into a happier and more positive state. I think that this is one of the most powerful benefits.
2. Improves your sleep
When we feel gratitude towards something we activate our bodies relaxation response. This relaxation response is the parasympathetic branch of our nervous system. When we feel negative emotions we activate the sympathetic branch of our nervous system which is correlated to the fight or flight response (stress, adrenaline,tension).
By being grateful before bedtime you allow yourself to become relaxed which leads to a better nights sleep and a happier more well rested you.
3. You become more likable
You naturally become a more positive person when you practice gratitude. We all know that people are more drawn to positive people. I’d much rather befriend someone with a positive outlook on life over someone who is all doom and gloom.
People will naturally be intrigued by why you are so happy. It’s almost not normal in society to just be happy anymore. People will want to know what your secrets are.
4. Better relationships
Romantic relationships and friendships will improve. When we show gratitude towards other people it makes them feel good too. You are able to work through problems and roadblocks in your relationships without resorting to a screaming match. Gratitude not only improves relationships it also strengthens them.
5. Improves creativity
Positive emotions like gratitude has a mind broadening quality. What I mean by this is that it allows us to become more open to possibilities. We are expanded internally and externally. We more easily think outside of the box and find more creative ways to solve problems in our lives.
6. Productivity increases
Being greatful lowers stress levels, has an impact on our health, increases energy levels and broadens our minds. With all those qualities combined it’s safe to say that your productivity will increase as a result.
7. You become more humble
Ever heard of humility, well humility and gratitude go hand in hand they reinforce each other. Being humble in life is a trait that seems to be becoming more rare, but by simply being more grateful you can become more humble in life.
8. Cultivates kindness
As you become a more grateful person you will become kinder to others. This follows on nicely from being more humble in life. Kindness is free and as you experience good in your life you will be compelled to share it with others.
9. You become less materialistic
When you become more grateful for what you have you will find that you are focused less on material things. It’s lovely having nice things but you will start disconnecting from identifying with your material possessions. I am glad I have nice things but i’m not afraid to lose them because I know there will always be something in my life to be grateful for, if that makes sense.
10. Increases optimism
The grateful person is always the optimist in the group. Its hard to be negative if you practice gratitude everyday. Yes there will be negative things that come into your life but you will be able to look past these things with a positive outlook. The problems presented to you will only prompt you to find some kind of creative way to deal with them.
11. Fights depression
Depression is a serious topic and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I dont believe that practicing gratitude is a cure for depression. What I do believe is that by being grateful in your life you can ease the symptoms of depression a little bit. When I am depressed I find it helps to focus on something I can be greatful for, even when it’s really hard to find something in that moment.
12. More resilience
I get knocked down, but I get up again. Our ability to get back up after a setback in our lives is the measure of our resilience. People who practice gratitude are good at looking at the whole picture, the bigger scheme of things. Instead of letting a negative situation turn into a depressive downward spiral grateful people can get up and keep doing what needs to be done.
13. Reduces stress
Think about all the worrying we do on a daily basis. All this worrying about the future and the past creates our stress. When you allow yourself to be grateful you will notice your stress melting away. As soon as you start feeling gratitude towards something or someone you can feel your chest opening up and tension leaving your body. Being grateful is a free stress reduction technique available to everyone at no cost.
14. Better self esteem
Self esteem helps to improve self worth. When you are grateful you are loving yourself and caring for yourself. If you feel loved and cared for it increases your self esteem. Practicing gratitude is a one way ticket to improved self love and self esteem.
15. Help’s you to live a longer life
Living longer is a mixture of a lot of things. I believe that a healthy mind is the most important. If your mind is healthy everything else will follow. You will have a healthier outlook on life which means you will eat healthier meals and take better care of your body. Exercise will come naturally to you because you are grateful to be able to be mobile enough to run or walk.
All of this combined and you’re looking at living a longer healthier life.
Living With An Attitude Of Grattitude
When I was doing research for this article I came across the word GRATTITUDE. Just another incorrectly spelled word I thought, you know like greatful and grateful. But to my surprise upon digging a bit further I discovered that GRATTITUDE was actually a thing.
You see, it’s a play on words. “grATTITUDE” In short it stands for attitude of gratitude or gratitude attitude, whichever way you want to spin it. I had to include it in this article because there’s no way two of the most powerful words both have different versions of themselves.
Living with an attitude of gratitude is an unselfish habit that you can easily cultivate, nurture and grow into your being. The most stress free and at peace people have grATTITUDE, it’s empowering to live this way.
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” Buddha
How to practice gratitude
Now that you know what a few of the benefits are you might want to know how you could incorporate this practice into your life. Below are 9 ways you can start practicing gratitude and become more greatful.
1. Gratitude journal
If you aren’t familiar with the benefits of keeping a journal I urge you to read this article. If you already journal regularly then you might want to consider mixing it up a bit with a gratitude journal.
Write down your positive thoughts in your journal. Think about what you are grateful for and write it down. Something magical happens when you write down your gratitude. You are focused on writing so there’s no room for ungrateful thoughts to pop into your mind.
Block out some time to write in your gratitude journal everyday. Try it for one week without skipping a day and observe your attitude toward life. Do you see an improvement?
2. Tell the people close to you that you appreciate them
This is a easy one, but so many people dont do it. When last have you called a friend to just say that you appreciate them. It doesn’t cost anything to tell someone that they are loved and appreciated. Not only will this brighten up the other persons mood but it will be contagious.
Soon your relatives and friends will become more grateful without even realizing it. That is the magic of gratitude.
3. Smile more often
Just do it. Smile at strangers, smile at animals, smile when you are alone. Even if you are forcing your smile, just smile. Smile right now!
4. Practice mindfulness
Pick up a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is something I practice every single day. I love it because its the most versatile meditation practice I have come across. When you practice mindfulness you can’t help but be greatful for everything around you.
Whether you are taking a stroll with your pets or having a coffee in some cafe mindfulness can be practiced anywhere.
Here’s how you can practice mindfulness with gratitude
- Take some time out of your day, anytime you dont have to get specific.
- Sit comfortably
- Focus on your breath
- Once you are focused on your breath think of something you are grateful for. Got it?
- Now picture what you are grateful for
- Stay with the image and the feeling of gratitude toward whatever you are picturing
- Allow yourself to feel the physical effects of gratitude running through your body.
- After a while, maybe a minute or two you can think of the next thing you are grateful for.
Try and do this everyday it doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. You can keep it short. Maybe you just want to focus on one thing that you are greatful for everyday. Do this for one minute a day and you will start to rewire your mind to be naturally grateful.
5. Be kind to yourself
Be kind to yourself. Stop bullying yourself with negative self talk. Find something you love about yourself and start focusing on that. Be greateful that you are alive and well.
6. Be kind to strangers
Being kind to strangers will also help you to see more good in the world. We live in a shut off society right now. Everyone’s got their music in their ears, walking around with blank expressions on their faces.
Take time to be kind to strangers, a simple smile can make someones day. Helping someone without wanting anything in return will not only make them feel great but you too will feel good.
7. Appreciate everything
Appreciate everything, don’t be picky about what you are greateful for. Don’t only focus on the big ticket items like houses and cars or money. Be greatful for running water and toasters. Kettles are awesome too, how about socks and teabags. I could go on forever because there is just so much to be grateful for in our lives.
Focusing on the smaller things puts life into perspective and you can appreciate how much we really have to show gratitude towards.
8. Use your challenges as a time to be greateful
Don’t allow your challenges to bring you down. Use your challenges as an opportunity to be grateful. Challenges force us to learn new things. That in and of itself is something to be grateful for.
Every challenge no matter how big or how small has an important lesson in it for us. Use your challenges as opportunities to practice gratitude.
Go and do some kind of volunteer work. It could be an animal shelter or an old age home. When I do volunteer work at our local soup kitchen Im blown away at how happy some people are. They literally have nothing but they still find it in themselves to smile and be greatful for their meal.
Volunteer work is a great way to open your eyes to the abundance you have in your life. There’s also nothing better you can do than to give up your time for the benefit of others. People are grateful for that sort of thing you know.
Gratitude Meditation Script
Below is a guided meditation script. I’ve used this one on many occasions as it’s helped me to really tap into a grateful meditative state. It’s wonderful and I highly recommend it for you to try out.
14 Of The Best Gratitude Affirmations
Are you familiar with affirmations. If you dont know what they are read my article on affirmations here. I absolutely love affirmations and I do them all the time. While i’m driving, showering, making food or working out. I try and do them as much as I possibly can.
Doing affirmations is a great technique to keep the mind quite and focused on what we want. I do all sorts of different affirmations throughout my day. Below are 14 gratitude affirmations you can try.
- The feeling of gratefulness expands my perspective
- I choose to be thankful for all that I have
- I receive exactly what I ask for and I am grateful for that
- I am grateful for my friends and family that love and appreciate me
- I see the beauty in everything that surrounds me
- I am blessed in every way on everyday
- I feel gratitude as a natural state of being
- In this moment I am grateful
- I willingly embrace each day with gratitude
- I am worthy of love and of giving love
- I will always find something around me to be grateful for
- I live in a state of grattitude
- I am grateful that I have the power to change my life into what I want it to be
- I fell gratitude for all the universe provides
Got Time For A Ted Talk Gratitude Video
All humans want the same thing, we want to be happy! In this talk Brother David Steindl-Rast a monk and scholar explains what will make us happy. Spoiler alert, it’s gratitude. A great watch if you have the time.
Always Be Thankful
Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. Oprah Winfrey
Be more thankful in your life and you will transform in ways you wouldn’t believe. It’s easy to stay negative and ungrateful. It takes a warrior to stay positive and be thankful. Even when times are tough, to find true happiness you must stay thankful.
Practicing gratitude will elevate you as an individual. Your happiness will rub off on other people and they will notice the changes in you. I strive to let people feed off of my gratitude. I am grateful when I am facing a negative person, in my mind if I can be thankful and grateful around this person I am helping them. Here’s to all the grATTITUDE warriors out there.
I will leave you with a lovely gratefulness poem written by Joseph T. Renaldi.
A Gratefulness Poem
I am greatful for the eyes that I can see
the activities that can be done by me.
I am grateful for the ears that I may hear
the sobbing of those who need me near.
I am grateful for the lips that I might speak
words of comfort and peace to all who seek.
I am grateful for a mind that I might know how to aid those who need me so.
I am grateful for the hands that I might do
some arduous or simple task for you.
I am grateful for the ability to always pray
to give me strength and guidance everyday.
I am greatful for one thing, all else above
that I was given a heart, that I may love.
Joseph T. Renaldi