The recent influx of Instagram-able gratitude journals, and influencers talking about their gratitude practices, comes as no surprise. The principle and practice of gratitude is an incredible mental, emotional, and even spiritual tool that has the power to shift your perspective in so many areas of your life - from your relationships, to your career, as well as with regards to your money. Here’s how the intentional practice of gratitude impacts your financial life, and how it can help you better think about and manage money.
Defined as the positive emotions you experience when you receive something of value to you — gratitude has been found to stimulate greater overall happiness within people. Research published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, found that materialistic people who experienced the least amount of gratitude or positive emotions also had the least overall life satisfaction.
So, what are some practical ways that we can practice gratitude in our lives that don’t seem airy fairy? Here are some helpful suggestions from the Paper & Coin team:
Travel around the world
This might seem counterintuitive, at first, but, if you can afford to make travel a regular part of your life, experiencing different cultures, lifestyles, and varying levels of socioeconomic situations can shed light and bring perspective on how good you have it, even though you may not always see it that way. - OCTAVIA
Get out in nature
I find that getting out into nature inspires gratitude for me because it puts me in a really positive and mindful headspace. I tend to make impulse purchases when I’m feeling down or stressed, so if I can manage my mood I think it helps me manage my spending. - VICTORIA
Express verbal appreciation
I practice gratitude verbally with the people around me who do good things for me, for others, for themselves. To see others light up when being recognized for their small wins and good deeds makes me more conscious of the good I do as well. Financially, it helps to remind me that "stuff" really doesn't freaking matter. I've learned to embrace spending on experiences that uplift me without any shred of guilt, because I worked hard for it, planned for it, and decided that it’s a financial priority for me. - CINDY
Have a daily reflection journal
I have a daily practice of reflecting on my day at the end of the night. I look back at all the amazing things that happened and people I had the opportunity to connect with, and write about it in a journal. This gratitude practice helps me get clear about what truly matters to me, and reminds me that money is meant to be spent on things I truly value. - NICO
There is also something inexplicably calming about giving money away or randomly splurging on friends/family. It warms my heart, somehow even alleviates the pressure of bills/expenses. I know...it almost makes no sense, but at the same time, it does. - TUTI
Meditate and be mindful
I’ve been trying to use Headspace, a mindfulness and meditation app, to help me be more present and intune with how I’m feeling. I always stress about getting more money for the future, but with meditation, it's a reminder to be thankful for what you have in the moment. - JESSICA
Even though the old adage says, “money can’t buy happiness”, it’s really that, though money can buy things, those things ultimately won’t make us happy. Or, if they do, it’s a fleeting happiness. But, having gratitude for the money and possessions you have, is what truly leads to more happiness, not acquiring more stuff.
So, regardless of whether you have much, or little, try some of the suggestions from our team to align yourself in the right perspective, and center yourself in gratitude before you start chasing for more.