For most, gratitude is a pure outright, thank you. For others, a half-hearted thank you text or card may seal the deal. But in psychology, it is not just an offhand action.
Gratitude is a positive emotion that goes a long way in contributing to happiness. The credit entails more than feeling thankful for an act of kindness or condition because it consists of a deeper appreciation for someone or something. It affirms the graciousness of the giver. When we focus more on the many blessings in our lives, we are more satisfied, cheerful and generous. In contrast, the feeling goes both ways.
The giver derives immense joy from the act, and the receiver appreciates the kindness.
We may not realise that gratitude is a choice and that it doesn’t come easily to many of us in this fast-paced world. It is not unusual for daily blessings to go unnoticed. We often overlook the little acts of goodness we experience every day. Small acts of kindness shown daily culminate into long joyful life. Whether receiving or giving gratitude, scientific studies prove that the result is enormous happiness.
Gratitude increases optimism, and enthusiasm has been proven to boost the immune system. According to a study by Harvard Medical school, optimistic people live happier, healthier, longer lives.
A Grateful Heart
A grateful heart begins by reflecting and contemplating on all the beautiful things around you. It has to do with a state of being and has to be cultivated by self-reflection. It comes by considering how life has supported you. Things as simple as listening to the birds sing or enjoying the taste of a homegrown tomato soup on a cold Winters night can be cause for celebration when you focus on having a grateful heart.
Saying thank you may constitute good manners, but showing appreciation may help you create new friendships, as well as live a happier life. A 2014 study found that awareness for kindness more often than not makes them seek a deeper relationship with you. It doesn’t matter how small the kindness. Simply acknowledging little deeds leads to new relationship moments, and of course, more joy.
Counting your blessings goes a long way in loving yourself without undue judgment. According to a study, a one-time act of thoughtful appreciation produced a 10% increase in happiness and 35% reduction in depression.
As an entrepreneur or a team player, gratefulness is non-negotiable. Everyone loves to be appreciated. So think of the world of virtue it would do your business if you showed more gratitude in your life. Send a thank you email or card. Say thanks when someone goes out of their way to make your life and patronage easier. Showing gratitude to workers, clients and investors makes you happier and will give your business the needed lift because everyone you deal with will feel valued.
Cultivating and nurturing an attitude of gratitude goes a long way in helping you achieve happiness, since there is virtually no downside to this simple act. Though it may seem tasking at first, it becomes easy with persistence.
But there’s no need to stop there!
There are many ways to add the practice of gratitude into your life so that you stay focused on appreciating all the amazing things you have already done in your life. Here are three simple ways to add more feelings of gratitude to your world, starting now.
- Compliment a stranger—how many times have you admired someone’s haircut or blouse but not complimented them on it.
- Start today!
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