The Power Of Gratitude

Oklahoma court reporters and those working in the legal field know, the profession can take its toll with stressful situations and leave you emotionally drained. There is power in counting your blessings to combat daily stressors. The power of gratitude is well known for those in all professions, not just the legal profession.

The power of gratitude is highlighted during the holiday season, but it is a practice court reporters, lawyers and others in the legal field should practice year-round. Here are some benefits of the power of gratitude.

Improved physical health. Those who actively practice gratitude have fewer aches, pains, headaches and have an overall healthier mind and body than those who don’t. This was noted in a study entitled, Personality and Individual Differences in a 2012 report. Those who are grateful are also more likely to practice self-care.

Improved mental health. When you’re actively looking for items for which to be grateful you are actively seeking out items about which to be optimistic.  When you’re grateful you are looking for positive outcomes rather than focusing on potential negative ones. When you’re grateful you limit the power of toxic emotions including anger, frustration and regret.

Improved goodwill toward others. When you’re grateful you are more likely to extend positive behaviors and emotions to others and to be more empathetic to the plight of others.

You will be less aggressive. Grateful people, a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky found, are less likely to be aggressive or angry toward others, even if they receive negative feedback.

Improved communication and relationships. Grateful people are more open to new friendships and relationships. Whether you say, “thank you” to a stranger who lets you in line in front of him or buy a cup of coffee for a co-worker to thank her for help with a project, you will be perceived as being more approachable and friendly.

Improved sleep. A 2011 study in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being found individuals who write in a gratitude journal before they go to sleep will sleep more deeply and wake more rested. A gratitude journal is a practice by which you make note of at least three items for which you were grateful that day. Read those items when you wake up the next morning and it sets the mood for a happier day ahead.

Improved self-esteem. If you’re grateful self-esteem is enhanced. Studies show that “gratitude reduces social comparison.” You’re less likely to compare yourself to a colleague or friend who has a better house, higher paying job or a nicer car because you are happy and grateful for the items you currently have.

Starting a practice of gratitude is easy. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, “I can’t believe I am stuck in this traffic,” think instead, “I am grateful I have a car and a job and that the sun is shining.” That switch in attitude is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your happiness with your life. As a court reporter in Oklahoma, what do you find helps you be more grateful?

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