Ahhh 2020 — what a year! If you’re like most people, 2020 has not gone quite as you expected it, way back in January. Tens of millions of people (or more) have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, either physically, emotionally, or financially. And while there have been various programs offered both by federal, state, and local governments and private companies, there’s no doubt that many people’s finances have taken a hit this year.
Still, with 2020 coming to an end (finally!), it’s time to take a look back and count your blessings. Here are a few reasons that, no matter how 2020 has gone for you, you should consider showing gratitude for some of your financial blessings in 2020.
#1 Being grateful can improve your relationships with others
Have you ever been around someone who seemed like they were always in a good mood? Whenever I have been around a person like that, I have found that their cheerful attitude rubbed off on me. Similarly, being around a person who is projecting a negative attitude can lower your own happiness.
Being grateful and positive for the things in your life can also improve your relationships with your friends, family, and others around you. If there’s someone who has helped you financially, whether monetarily, through good advice, or by being there at the right time, take the time to write them a thank-you note and let them know what they’ve meant to you. Another idea is to consider ways that you can give back to others and make a difference in someone else’s life.
#2 Gratitude makes you more resilient
If 2020 has taught us anything, it has taught us the value and importance of resilience. Way back in January when we were making our New Year’s resolutions, I’m sure I’m not the only one who didn’t see all of the madness that has occurred over the past 12 months. Being grateful for the things that you have in your life makes you more resilient and less susceptible to the negative impacts of future changes. Resiliency can also set you for how to financially prepare for the post-pandemic world.
#3 More overall satisfaction with life
A study by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough showed that being consciously grateful for one’s blessings caused a positive effect on overall contentment with life. The study showed that respondents who regularly showed gratitude experienced fewer symptoms of physical illness, improved amount, and quality of sleep, and were more likely to have helped others. While you may not have experienced all of the financial blessings that you were hoping for in 2020, taking stock of the blessings you HAVE received can make a positive impact on your life.
#4 Being grateful makes you more productive
Choosing to be grateful can also have a positive impact on your overall productivity. Research has shown that:
- Managers who showed gratitude to their employees generated 50 percent higher productivity
- When you express gratitude to your partner, he or she is more likely to feel positively towards you
- Feeling grateful helps form stronger romantic relationships and makes us happier and healthier
- Showing gratitude can help avoid the natural tendency for instant gratification
How to show gratitude even in tough financial times
All of these reasons you should show gratitude are good, but what can you do if you’re going through tough financial times? It’s all well and good to be told to buck up because “other people have it worse”, but that doesn’t make things feel any better. One way to cope with a tough financial situation is to focus on the things within your control. There may be many areas of your life and financial situation that are not going as you imagined but are due to factors outside your control.
Focusing on (and being grateful for) the financial blessings you do have can have a big impact on your overall quality of life. If your finances have been impacted by unexpected job loss or changes to your financial situation, you may want to consider creating an emergency budget. Feeling more in control of your finances can lead to lower stress and improved quality of life. Being grateful can help to change your focus to what you do have, instead of what you may be missing.
Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a site that helps families to travel for free / cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and 6 kids.