Gratitude is often both underrated and unpopular in a culture that prizes the newest and hottest thing over what we already have. However, practising gratitude can make you happier and save you money. This means the perfect time to practise it is at the checkout.
Most of us purchase a lot of things that we don't necessarily need. Impulse buys rely heavily on shortening the psychological gap between discovery and purchase. For this reason, Daily Worth recommends pre-empting every purchase you make with a brief gratitude session to identify what you already have and appreciate. Practising gratitude can result in increased willpower, as research from Northeastern University suggests:
"What are you grateful for?" Hone in on one amazing thing you have going for you — be it your kids, career or loveable golden retriever. New research from Northeastern University found that focusing on what you're thankful for can help you exert more willpower.
In the study, participants were divided into three groups: One was asked to write about an experience from their past that made them feel happy, another about a time when they felt grateful, the third group about a neutral occasion. People were then asked to select between receiving $US54 now or $US80 in 30 days. Those asked to concentrate on gratitude exhibited more willpower to resist instant gratification and hold out for the more lucrative offer than did participants in the other two groups. Researchers suggest this may be because gratitude lends us a sense of fulfillment. "Showing that emotion can foster self-control and discovering a way to reduce impatience with a simple gratitude exercise opens up tremendous possibilities for reducing…impulse buying," says study coauthor Ye Lin, PhD.
Even if you still end up buying a particular item, we only stand to benefit from taking a moment to reflect on what we already have. You may save some money in the process, you may not. But you'll almost certainly start to realise that there's more good stuff in life than we tend to think when the pressure is on. Check out Daily Worth's article for more tips on how to reduce overspending.