The Power of Gratitude
Counting your blessings, enjoying the little things, and being appreciative of everything you have are all examples of gratitude. It entails developing the habit of living each day as if it were a miracle and perpetually appreciating all that you have been given.
When you are grateful, your attention is drawn to the abundance in your life rather than what it lacks. In addition, behavioural and psychological studies have demonstrated the unexpected benefits of practising gratitude in one’s life. People who express gratitude are happier and more resilient, and they also enjoy better health and less stress.
Why is gratitude important
Regularly practising and expressing appreciation offers numerous long- and short-term advantages.
Gratitude is one of the key areas of attention for positive psychology, according to extensive research by psychologists. There is evidence to support the idea that those who intentionally list their blessings are happier and less depressed. Yet how?
- Positive feelings can be overcome by gratitude.
Being thankful encourages us to seek out and connect with the positive things in life while boosting positive feelings like compassion and joy. This enables us to shift our focus from negative emotions to constructive ones.
- Positivity can be a powerful antidepressant.
One meaningful acknowledgment increases happiness by 10% right away and reduces depressed symptoms by 35%, according to a study. When it gets ingrained, it helps lessen anxiety and depressive symptoms.
- Thanksgiving increases our optimism.
Researchers Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough found that persons who write a few phrases every week with an emphasis on gratitude felt more upbeat.
- It enhances our well-being.
Gratitude practice is associated with other good activities, such as exercising, in addition to lowering and reversing negative feelings. A deeper, more restorative sleep as well as less aches and pains, reduced blood pressure, and stronger immune systems have all been linked to gratitude in research.
- Stronger connections and communities are the result.
We become more tolerant, more likely to lend a helping hand, and more compassionate when we are grateful. Team members’ feelings of satisfaction and fulfilment can be increased through gratitude, potentially lowering the risk of burnout.
Workers were 50% more productive, according to Wharton School researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, when their bosses actively communicated gratitude to them.
- It can lead to positive actions
It has been demonstrated that having a grateful mindset increases our propensity to share the inspiration and joy it gives us. This is true whether we are expressing our gratitude or increasing our urge to help others. According to research, being grateful can also inspire people to adopt good habits that help them become better versions of themselves.
This has two good effects on us. First off, when we have a grateful mindset, we frequently engage in additional activities that enhance our wellbeing, such meditation, physical activity, and identifying our strengths. Second, it inspires kindness, thoughtfulness, and altruism in us.
Additionally, according to Frederickson’s research, expressing gratitude well increases the likelihood that the recipient will help a stranger, thereby growing a goodwill network.
Five ways to practise gratitude
- Like any skill, gratitude can be learned and strengthened. Here are some tips on how to practise gratitude.
Consider three things for which you are grateful every day. Make it a routine to focus on the positive aspects of your life. Your mood during the day and the quality of your sleep may be directly impacted by this. In fact, when beginning a course of treatment for depression, therapists frequently recommend this as one of the initial exercises. It is suggested that you spend at least ten minutes on this practise rather than just coming up with ideas immediately to make it more effective. It’s a fantastic idea to put them on paper after your activity, and it’s helpful to read them again at the end of the week.
Create a journal of appreciation. A great method of self-therapy is journaling. When you write, you access memories and emotions from a fresh angle and employ different portions of your brain. It has been demonstrated that keeping a gratitude journal stimulates the parts of the brain associated with morality and happy feelings. Higher levels of resiliency, forgiveness, and detachment are displayed by those who were able to find meaning in difficult circumstances and felt glad for the positive outcomes. And when you’re having a hard time being positive, reading your own words of gratitude can make you feel better.
Thank someone new every week. We are surrounded by a large number of people, and we are all linked in some way. How frequently do we intentionally or thoughtfully express our gratitude? We thank our spouse for setting the table and the pastor at our neighbourhood store for giving us our purchases, but do we take the time to make it meaningful? Give yourself the task of selecting a different person each week, and educate yourself on various ways to demonstrate thanks. It could also entail sending a thoughtful note appreciating people’ actions and how they have positively affected you, making eye contact and smiling more frequently, or showing your appreciation with a thoughtful gift or deed of kindness (like shoulder massage). Be original!
Meditate. Meditation can help us go as far as we can with thankfulness. We can broaden our understanding of life and our connection to ourselves and other beings by practising various guided meditations, such as those on love and kindness. It encourages thankfulness because it fosters acceptance, objectivity, and forgiving. We can also use this time to focus on something specific for which we are grateful, allowing the sensation to intensify and grow.
Consider the motives of people more. When someone gives you a present or makes a nice gesture, think about how they wanted to improve your life. Think about how willing they are to support you, provide you joy, or stand by you when times are tough.
Without a doubt, gratitude is a wonderful emotion to nurture. We can attempt to turn it into a behaviour that eventually becomes a trait. Remember that patience and practise are essential components of our goals and intents. Begin your practise right away.