Start practicing gratitude to resist temptation and be more content with what you have.
We live in a consumer-driven world.
All-day we’re bombarded with ads exposing us to all sorts of temptations.
Whether it’s that Olive Garden email that has you suddenly craving pasta or that Apple commercial that has you convinced you’ll be a better artist if you only had that new iPad Pro, we’re constantly exposed to things that make us think we’re missing out on something.
It’s no surprise that the amount of household debt keeps rising each year.
We’re being conditioned to react to our immediate desires regardless of the consequences.
It’s not about trying to keep up with the Jones’ anymore but trying to keep up in general.
So how do we avoid these temptations and the debt they inevitably lead to?
By practicing gratitude.
Gratitude Helps You Resist Temptation
Psychologically we tend to value immediate rewards more than future rewards.
But gratitude can turn this around.
A recent study showed that gratitude increased people’s patience and their ability to wait for greater rewards. The simple act of being grateful is powerful enough to resist any immediate desires you have.
I often crave the convenience of fast food, but once I realized the toll it was taking on my budget I started to cut back.
It’s not easy to resist that temptation, especially when you’re driving by it every day. But once I started thinking about the aspects of homemade meals that make me thankful, it’s been much easier.
Each time I drive by and feel the pang of desire, I remember how much fun it is to cook with Little GFB and how thankful I am that he has a desire to learn to cook and eat healthier.
And it’s working! While I definitely still feel the urge to swing through that drive-thru, I’m able to redirect my thoughts to things I’m grateful for and the temptation usually fades.
Gratitude Makes You More Content
We often seek instant gratification as a means to increase our happiness. We think if we could only have that thing that we want, we’ll be happy.
But the truth is, we’ll never be satisfied this way.
We all actually have a base level of happiness that we return to regardless of life’s ups and downs. (It’s called Hedonic Adaptation if you want to Google it.)
But gratitude helps us avoid the trap of trying to buy happiness by making us content with what we have.
When you start budgeting, the first thing you probably feel is scarcity. It seems like there’s simply not enough money to pay for everything.
But when you start prioritizing and become super clear on what your goals are, you start to recognize the things you have to be grateful for.
Not only does gratitude make you more content, but it will also save you money!
This clarity of contentment helps you reduce your expenses and eliminate the things you don’t really value.
Make Gratitude a Habit
Learning to practice gratitude isn’t tough. It just takes a little time and effort to make it a habit.
To help you get in the habit of practicing gratitude every day I’ve designed a worksheet you can print and fill out.
It’s super simple, but the more you do it, the more you’ll begin to notice how appreciating the things you have makes it easier to avoid feeling bummed about the things you don’t.
Gratitude Is the Secret to Financial Success
Gratitude helps you avoid temptation and teaches you to appreciate the abundance in your life.
Being able to resist temptation and feel content with what you have makes saving more than you spend a much easier prospect.
There will always be things we want or need regardless of how grateful we are.
By looking at those desires while in a state of appreciation you’re able to discern between the wants and needs and make a plan to obtain them without sacrificing your budget.
So download the worksheet above and get started practicing gratitude today! And don’t forget to check back in and let me know how it’s going.