We all know what gratitude means, or so we think we do.
The word gratitude comes from the Latin root gratus, which means "welcome; agreeable; pleasing." So, in other words, being grateful is the equivalent of feeling the divine presence in our lives.
Gratitude is the act of feeling appreciation and communication for material possessions, circumstances, and people in our lives. It gives up the ability to cherish the present in ways that make us feel in abundance as opposed to feeling deprived.
Gratitude is scientifically proven for a variety of purposes. In the book The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Rever the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time, Alex Korb discusses some interesting facts. He goes on to talk about how gratitude boots the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine and the hormone oxytocin, which is all associated with having a positive outlook on life and wellbeing.
What can gratitude do for you?
Positive emotions are powerful; they help us live longer, boost productivity, improve health, improve relationships, and enhance resilience. Gratitude may be the most researched emotion and most certainly the most powerful one.
I am 100% convinced of gratitude, so I do at a bare minimum of 10 - 20 minutes of practice every single day.
Here are five ways gratitude makes a positive effect on us:
It makes us Happier. When experiencing gratitude, it makes us feel good; it helps us notice what is great in our lives in the present instead of focusing on the negative. Allowing us to develop positive feelings about circumstances and experiences.
It reduces symptoms of depression. Someone who is depressed is known to be overly self - focused, not through to any fault of their own. It does not mean they aren't empathetic or compassionate. They are just too focused on their shortcomings and flaws. By practicing gratitude, our attention is directed away from one's self and towards what others are providing for us.
Gratitude increases our resilience. To be resilient, you must bounce back and recover quickly from stressful situations or setbacks. Grateful people can see the bigger picture and bear in mind the positive things in their lives, allowing them to seek out further social support. A result of this is you're less likely to let an unfortunate event pull them into a downward spiral. You will grow in times of stress, so, in other words, gratitude makes us resilient.
Gratitude also improves our self - esteem by making you aware of the good things other people do for you. A result of this is feeling appreciated, loved, and cared for - which makes improves your self - esteem and makes you feel better about yourself.
How do you practice gratitude?
1. Practice Mindfulness
Sit down every day and think about five to ten things you are grateful for in your life. The key is that you need to have a picture in your mind and allow your whole body to feel the gratitude. By doing this daily, you will rewire your brain to be grateful; naturally, you will feel happier with every session you do.
Eight weeks is all it takes for your brain to show patterns that have changed that then leads to greater happiness and empathy. Your brain is your most powerful tool, and, training it towards gratitude is ensuring that feelings of gratitude come quicker as you practice.
2. Have a gratitude journal.
After your mindfulness sessions, it is a great shout to write down all your positive thoughts. By keeping a journal, you can write down all the things you are thankful for, and it allows you to refer back to them later on.
Writing down your positive thoughts will allow you to focus your attention on that subject. You're putting pen to paper, so you have ultimately no other choice but to think about the words you are writing down consciously. This eliminates the possibility of ungrateful or distracting thoughts.
You can either journal after your mindfulness sessions or do it daily, whatever works best for you.
3. Find gratitude in your challenges.
Gratitude is not just for your positive experiences; it is also a way for you to look at a negative situation differently or learn more from it. By thinking about a situation that was difficult for you, it can allow you to understand what you have to be grateful for.
Dig deeper into your past experiences that were difficult and focus on how that helped shape the person you have become today.
Those are techniques I used when I first started practicing gratitude, and I still use them! Please let me know what you think and whether this post helped you.
Are you going to embark on your gratitude journey now?