The Gratitude Beauty Cycle

How gratitude/gratefulness fuels beauty and vice versa.

Beauty and gratefulness are closely interconnected. Throughout this post, you’ll learn about recent research on gratefulness and what I see as the Gratitude Beauty Cycle.

Think about this time of year. The holiday season is renowned for the love and positivity in the air. People are more cheerful, merry, and understanding with one another. People see greater beauty in life, leading to verbalized, written, and expressed gratefulness both in person and online.

Gratefulness: warm and deep appreciation for kindness received; gratitude or thankfulness

Over the last 15 years, there has been an uptick in research on gratitude. We hear about thankfulness, gratitude journals, and grateful lists in the yoga studio, in a breath-work class, in a workplace wellness lecture, and even at sporting events.

Before addressing how beauty and gratefulness are connected, let’s address what research on gratitude has found:

  1. “Evidence that a grateful disposition is associated with life satisfaction, optimism, subjective well-being, positive affect, and happiness” (by increasing the likeliness to workout, following medical advice, and improving sleep)
  2. “Evidence that a grateful disposition may protect against burnout”
  3. Evidence of increasing self-esteem
  4. Gratitude breaks the toxic pathways in our brain by focusing on something positive, regardless of if it’s expressed or not
  5. Seeing mental health improvement from practicing gratitude takes time

(compiled from a whitepaper conducted at the Greater Good Science Center UC Berkley and the Greater Good Magazine)

All this research suggests that gratefulness has significant benefits for an individual. So I wonder, if being grateful helps with self-esteem and well-being, then does gratefulness fuel beauty?

Beauty: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit

When an individual practices gratefulness, their brain pathways become more positive and less toxic. This positivity leads to actions that help with improved well-being and self-esteem. With that increase in self-esteem, a person feels better about themselves and has a greater sense of their inner beauty. A light within switches on. It’s that simple.

It does not stop there.

The increased self-esteem and positive outlook in life help in recognizing beauty in other areas of life. You know, like that saying by Margaret Wolfe Hungerford: “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” With that increased awareness comes greater gratitude for life. And so the cycle goes.

Why should we care?

Gratitude goes beyond Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Gratitude and gratefulness are critical components of self-care. Gratitude helps people feel better about themselves and the people around them. With gratitude and gratefulness, we all see more beauty in the world and in ourselves.

Here’s my ask for you, and I’ll do this as well:
1. Write ONE item/person/thing you are grateful for each day until 2023.
2. Thank at least one person in your life each week until 2023, and tell them why.
3. Volunteer at (or donate to) a local organization that you are grateful for.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If this was meaningful to you,  please feel free to message me and share how this impacted you or pass the message along to others.

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