A grateful heart is good for you and your finances


I’m going to get real here for a minute about my own life.  Three years ago I took the brave step to freelance, and let me tell you this has been really challenging.

No amount of planning prepared me for the uphills.

As a freelancer, I miss out on some key corporate perks; most notably, medical aid and not worrying about my paycheck. Oh and free Wifi!

But we live and learn.

This year was tougher than I anticipated. I struggled with anxiety, something that I never thought I’d experience in that degree but here we are.

When you’re struggling to get your bills paid, stressing over retirement, worried about your money —that's a lot of weight to carry and it can bring you down.

Even if you’re doing well you can lose focus.

So when people ask me how I work through the difficult personal finances periods, I always say “start each day with a grateful heart.”

Why?

The late Catholic Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast one said,
Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have, we will not be happy—because we will always want to have something else or something more.
It’s not always easy, but I try to spend a few minutes each morning in gratitude—to God, my family, my friends, and anyone else who has helped me get where I am today.

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I’m grateful that when I was down, I wasn’t out.

Besides a resilient spirit, gratitude has kept me going. May I even say, it has sheltered me from mental struggles.

What is gratitude? It is simply shifting your thoughts and emotions from what’s stressing you out to what you find valuable in your life.

Studies show that expressing gratitude can help improve your mood, increase your energy levels, relieve stress and increase your motivation—all by just looking around and being thankful for your blessings.

I know a  grateful heart might not seem to have a direct financial benefit, but personal finance has a great deal to do with mindset and behaviour. Without the right mindset, you won't have the strength of character to change the things that you need to change.

Think about it, it's hard to improve anything in your life, let alone your finances, when you are feeling miserable. I know I can't. Even my creative flow gets blocked. And when you are faced with challenges, you need to find creative solutions to those problems.

Yet no matter how challenging your life may be currently, your attitude can still make all the difference in how you feel and deal with your situation.




Even though your job stresses you out, be grateful you have a job and you can pay your bills. You can feed your family. That might not seem like a lot but it is.

You have family and friends you can turn to and help support you, emotionally if not financially.  Your relationships with people are a precious commodity.  Be grateful for them. 

You have so much to be grateful for!

And also, being grateful means acknowledging all the the bad things that you DON'T  have (i.e. poor mental or physical health, a bad job, an absence of friends or loved ones, death, etc.)

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Of course, being grateful doesn’t mean your life is perfect. It also doesn't mean that you will be far from having financial setbacks.

No.

What gratitude does is help you put any challenging situation in perspective, and move you forward, even though it’s difficult.

The reason why gratitude is so powerful it is because when you appreciate what you have, it appreciates.

Let's face it, adulting is often full of ups and downs, and it can be a little bit painful to relive the missed opportunities and financial "lows" you've experienced throughout the year. Yet there is so much more to the world than what’s immediately in front of you. Expand your view so you can see more of what’s going on around you so that money problems don’t become all consuming.

Remember, gratitude is an ongoing action, a state of being or a way of life. It is an ongoing habit. And as we head into the start of the holiday season, take time to reflect on what you truly have and be appreciative. Be grateful. Recognise what you have and be thankful for what’s already in your life.

As for me, I am eternally grateful for all the people in my life that have been a part of the journey, including you, the readers. Thank you for supporting this site, for being part of my community, and for doing great work in your own personal lives. Keep your head up and God bless you.

What are you grateful for today?

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