“It is not joy that makes us grateful… it is the gratitude that makes us joyful..!!”
Gratitude is an emotion that helps us to feel & express appreciation & thankfulness for the things that we already have, thereby paving way for a long- lasting happiness of life. It’s a feeling that helps us to truly appreciate the gifts of life and all the people who have helped us in some way. It creates a sense of balance and purpose in our life & helps identify what is really important. This blog post will look at the benefits of gratitude, how we can increase our gratitude levels, & the true potential that comes with being grateful!
Benefits of gratitude:
Traditionally, gratitude was believed to be belonging & limited to the fields of psychology and philosophy. But this is indeed much more than being only existing in theory. Adopting the attitude of gratitude has immense benefits to human life and a few of them are:
1. Increased well-being — Grateful people report higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction than non-grateful ones, which is quite obvious. The benefits of being grateful not only applies to our own lives but in the lives of others too. Being grateful for the good things we have & the people that we know can create an atmosphere where people not only feel safe but also feel comforted and secure, thus creating a peaceful environment around us.
2. Increased social support — Those who are more grateful are likely to receive more social support from others such as family & friends. People often look up to a person who has an optimistic approach towards life in general, as compared to a pessimistic. Besides, being grateful leads to happiness & we all know HAPPINESS IS CONTAGIOUS!!
3. Improved emotional & academic intelligence — Our attitude determines what heights we achieve in life! It is no secret that once we begin to notice good things, we begin to encounter even more good in our life.
Emotionally as well as academically, little things make a huge difference & acknowledging those qualities which we already possess, no matter how insignificant they may seem to us is the very first step to achieve intelligence.
4. Improved feelings of connection in times of crises — During an emotional turmoil like we all are facing currently due to the pandemic situation; the feeling of gratitude helps one to connect with oneself as well as others on a greater level.
5. Managing mental health — Mental health is something which we CANNOT ignore. Being grateful increases peace of mind as we realize that in spite of losing out on some things out of our control, we still have many other things to be grateful for!
6. Greater optimism & happiness — Our mind feeds on our thoughts & feelings. It is in our hands what to feed it with! Gratitude helps us feed our minds with positiveness, happiness, optimism & to develop a more grateful outlook towards life.
7. Decreased stress & anxiety levels — It is a very common things for psychologists to make their client destress & less anxious by making them remember the happy moments of their lives. Some even say that just pretend to be happy & smiling to the point until you do not have to pretend. Besides, just give it a thought “ If a photograph can look so pretty with just a smile, how will our life look if we are genuinely smiling & happy? “ Being grateful gives us a reason to smile & indeed it is a great stress-buster just to smile.
Our days rarely go according to our plan or without unexpected challenges. Some of us have the ability to appreciate small positive moments while some others need to cultivate this sense of gratitude. To get the maximum from our lives, we need to cultivate the habit of being grateful & the most common method of cultivating gratitude is keeping a ‘gratitude journal’ thereby recording experiences for which one is grateful.
The whole idea is to write at least 3 positive incidents on a daily basis which will act as a reminder of the positivity in your life. Examples include feeling accepted & loved, having a pleasant conversation with a friend, achieving something you have dreamt of, somebody appreciating yourself or even noticing something beautiful in nature!
A research shows that recording experiences for which one is grateful for only two consecutive weeks has lasting positive effects for up to 6 months.
Below mentioned are some of gratitude exercises which can be easily cultivated:
1. Keeping gratitude journal & listing 3–5 positive things or experiences on a daily basis before sleep. This also helps us to re-live that memories & feel happiness!
2. Think about what you are grateful for each morning. Start your day by saying a simple ‘ Thank You!’
3. Quit gossiping, criticizing & complaining about things. Instead, give one good word or nothing at all.
4. Write down what you appreciate about your own self
5. Practice saying thank you more often, especially to people who serve you.
6. Write a thank you letter to the person who you are most grateful to &, if possible, give it to them in person.
7. Linger on thoughts of positive moments from the day.
Power of gratitude:
Feeling grateful releases positive energy around us and fills us with positivity. Gratitude has the power to pull you up from the deep turmoil. Even though we face various situations in our life, if we can remain grateful, we can bear the situation with a more positive attitude. Being grateful is an unending source of happiness for us. It boosts our confidence, self-esteem and lifts our happiness. Gratitude also has the power to improve relationships within the family & workplace. It helps to build bridges and strengthens relationships.
Gratitude can also increase longevity. It is a known fact that people who are constantly grateful tend to live longer than others.
“Each day is a gift”
And by practicing gratefulness consciously, we can truly live to this quote. Gratitude gives us a firm base on which we can stand & encourage us to stand tall on our life’s journey. Gratitude is a beautiful emotion. It gives us the strength to move forward & reach the heights of success in life.