Wikipedia reveals that the word gratitude, thankfulness, or gratefulness, from the Latin word gratus “pleasing, thankful”, is a feeling of appreciation felt by and/or similar positive response shown by the recipient of kindness, gifts, help, favors, or other types of generosity, towards the giver of such gifts.
A growing body of research is confirming that an ounce of gratitude is worth a pound of cure. “The practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life,” said Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis and a leading scientific expert on the science of gratitude. “It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep. Gratitude reduces lifetime risk for depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders, and is a key resiliency factor in the prevention of suicide,” he said.
Practicing gratitude also affects behavior. Studies have shown that grateful people engage in more exercise, have better dietary behaviors, are less likely to smoke and abuse alcohol, and have higher rates of medication adherence – factors that translate into a healthier and happier life.
Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.
How To Express Or Show Gratitude
Many people value gratitude and appreciate the many benefits. However there are also many people who do not know how to show of express their gratitude. In this article we have listed some ways to show gratitude on a regular basis they include;
Writing a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. You can simply leave a bouquet, or any other beautiful gift in order to show your gratitude. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.
Thanking someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual. Another ne way to show gratitude that may go way beyond words or writing is that you can try make people feel special by doing things which he/she may appreciate in return.
Keeping a gratitude journal. Gratitude journaling is the habit of recording and reflecting on things (typically three) that you are grateful for on a regular basis. In essence, you are rewiring your brain to focus more on the positive aspects of your life and build up resilience against negative situations. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.
Counting your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.
Praying. According to a study published in Psychology of Religion and Spirituality ,For many people, the act of praying naturally leads to the experience and expression of gratitude. People randomly assigned to pray for four weeks reported higher levels of gratitude than people who wrote positive things about their partners. The study concluded that prayer increases gratitude. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.
Meditating. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.). Gratitude meditations will help you remember the small blessings you may take for granted in your day to day life.
How does gratitude meditation work?
In some spiritual traditions, people start the day with a chant that expresses their deep gratitude for the blessings they’ve received in their lives. They might thank the divine, their parents, the earth, teachers, and anything they can think of that makes it possible for their lives to continue to blossom.
There are countless things to be grateful for, such as
- the breath of life
- waking up in the morning
- the beauty of nature
- loving relationships with those we care about
- hard-earned achievements
- a livelihood we can feel good about
- the ability to help others
- and on and on