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The Oxford Lexicon defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful and readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness.
Research shows that expressing gratitude, just like having and nurturing good relationships, is directly correlated with more happiness and an overall sense of wellbeing in life. Happy people discard self-pity, guilt, and chronic complaining and replace all that with more gratitude.
You could transform your life and overall wellbeing by adopting this simple habit and mind shift. Below are some helpful, practical steps and prompts to be more grateful: i.e., sowing seeds for a happier life. In addition, The Marcopera lists five extra benefits of gratitude and thankfulness even in the most simple of things.
1. Gratitude boosts coping mechanisms.
Imagine a person had a trauma, a significant setback, or ill luck. Research shows that being able to “see some good in any bad “is a powerful way to build mental strength and fortitude, which might help alleviate pain and overall perception of misery. I remember caring for a patient who had cancer in her later 70 s. She was understandably totally devastated at the diagnosis. She plunged into total despair with extreme anxiety and felt so unfortunate in life. A devoutly religious person, she questioned why and how she could have such a diagnosis. One key message I remember telling her that significantly changed her mood was baked in Gratitude; I told her the story of a little boy I had met a week before –let us call him Tony. Tony was 11 years old with late-stage Leukämia. Despite his dire prognosis, I told her how much joy and life he exhibited when one interacted with him. She quickly exclaimed to my delight. “Thank God I did not have cancer at such an early age. “I captured that phrase and commended her to use it as her mantra in every moment of despair and desperation-which she would surely encounter in the treatment journey.
Fight on, albeit “Find some good in every bad! ” I implored! Even after major disasters like the terrorist attacks on September 11, catastrophic earthquakes, and wars, still finding something to be thankful for has been shown to build resilience and a better coping mechanism.
2. Gratitude builds friendships and strengthens relationships.
Imagine you had a friend who was generally grateful, appreciative, and thankful. You can imagine that friend would be a soothing and pleasant person to be around. It thus goes without saying that Gratitude fosters friendship and relationships. Look around in your friendship circle and notice how those friends who are often appreciative and grateful stand out and touch your attention and affection.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” –John F. Kennedy
3. More Gratitude means more Empathy, Kindness, and Compassion
Socially speaking, being more grateful enhances more compassion, empathy, and tolerance, reducing conflicts and rage. You would feel less inclined to deal with your choleric boss and keep away the middle finger or the quit notice if you could pause and recognize any positive contribution they might sometimes make. This attitude also applies to your relationship partner or unpleasant relative or stranger.
4. Gratitude enhances self-esteem
A significant issue in our society today is the lack of self-love and acceptance. When we find reasons and choose to be appreciative and grateful for what and who we are, there is an automatic boost of one’s confidence, self-image, and sense of wellbeing even while putting an effort to make possible improvements and amendments.- eg. being thankful for those slim legs so you think which still help move you around, the undesired look you might be convinced which underscores your ability to see and perhaps exposes your nice smile, that large Tommy or where ever that provides extra warmth and cushion, etc., –Think about it, If you cannot love and appreciate your self who should? Remember, how you truly perceive and accept yourself dictates how others perceive and accept you. Be cognizant of the fact that no one ever gave whosoever the right to create whatsoever standards.
5. Gratitude thwarts resentment and jealousy
Just think about it; Why would you resent another person’s stuff or situation if you spend more time appreciating and being thankful for what you have? Why would you go poking your neighbor when you are comfortable in the four walls of your own house? Nevertheless, this is not a push for mediocrity or lack of constructive competition rather it is a call to thwart the negative breeding ground of jealousy and envy.
“I am happy because I’m grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.”
– Will Arnett
Practicing more Gratitude
Like so many important things in life, it is important to begin by consciously appreciating why you should be grateful in the first place. If necessary, go through the above points to truly grasp the significance of gratitude. Some other important aspects to prop the mind frame include:
Start the day with a gratitude-filled and action-oriented mindset, organized, and clear about your priorities and important tasks.
Make it a constant habit to take stock of different life areas. Bringing to light the often elusive things one could be grateful for.
Strive to get better through Gratitude ―By thinking out ways to create meaningful changes and improvements in your life.
Practical steps to cultivate and practice more gratitude
We recommend you keep a gratitude journal to write and document your gratitude experiences and thoughts. Check out the above Happysimus gratitude journals on Amazon.
Each day, choose one area in your life and mentally recall reasons and things you can be thankful e.g. My family: I am so grateful that I have people who are always there to support and love me for who I am.
My body. I am thankful I can walk, hear, speak and smell. These are seemingly trivial things, but consciously reminding yourself elevates your mindset and consciousness. Genuinely feel appreciative and mean it!
Perhaps you might want to get a gratitude object such as a rock and enamel or anything to remind you or trigger your sense of Gratitude. Remember, It does not have to e something gigantic or extraordinary; on the contrary: even the simple things in life matter.
Please don’t take them for granted.
Practice and cultivate more Gratitude, thereby creating even more reasons to be thankful for. Recall as mentioned above; gratitude begets more gratitude!
Let complaining, whining, and self-pity be something of the past. Come up with a practical plan & energized resolve to make your life and the world a better place.
Thank you for your time and attention.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” –Robert Brault