Gratitude allows people to appreciate what they have rather than always believing that they won’t be fulfilled until all of their physical and monetary needs are met.
Gratitude encourages us to focus on what we have rather than what we don’t.
Giving thanks can make you happier.
Positive psychology studies has found a strong and continuous link between gratitude and happiness.
Gratitude allows people to connect to something bigger than themselves – whether it’s other people, nature, or a greater force.
Gratitude encourages people to have more pleasant emotions, appreciate wonderful events, improve their health, cope with adversity, and form strong bonds with others.
Gratitude is an expression of thankfulness for what one receives, whether material or intangible. People express thanks for the positive things in their lives. People frequently realize that the source of that kindness is at least partially outside of themselves during this process.
In one study, participants were asked to write a few phrases each week about a given topic.
- One group wrote about things they were grateful for during the previous week.
- A second group wrote about minor irritants or things that had upset them,
- While a third group wrote about big life events (both positive and negative).
After ten weeks, those who wrote about gratitude felt more hopeful and positive about their lives.
Those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives in just ten weeks.
How gratitude might strengthen relationships.
- In a study of couples, those who took the time to show thankfulness for their partner felt not just more favorable toward the other person, but also more comfortable sharing their concerns about their relationship.
- Managers who remember to say “thank you” to their employees often found that they are driven to work even harder.
- University fund-raisers were randomly assigned into two groups by researchers at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
- One group made phone calls to alumni to request funds, in the same way that they always had.
- The second group, which was assigned to work on a separate day, was given a pep talk by the director of annual giving, who expressed gratitude for the fund-raisers’ efforts.
- The university employees who heard her message of thanks made 50 percent more fund-raising calls the following week than those who did not.
Gratitude is a mechanism for people to appreciate what they already have rather than continuously striving for something new in the hopes of making them happier, or believing that they won’t be fulfilled until all of their physical and monetary needs are addressed.
Gratitude encourages people to focus on what they have rather than what they don’t. And, while it may appear artificial at first, with use and repetition, this mental state becomes stronger.
Here are some suggestions for practicing appreciation on a regular basis.
- Write a thank-you note to the person who helped you. Writing a thank-you note or email expressing your satisfaction and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life will make you happier and develop your relationship with that individual. If at all possible, send it or, better yet, deliver and read it in person.
- Make it a monthly habit to send at least one thanksgiving note.
- Write one to yourself every now and again.
- Thank someone in your head. You don’t have time to write? Simply recalling someone who has done something nice for you and mentally thanking them may be beneficial.
- Keeping a thankfulness notebook is a good idea. Make it a daily routine to write down or express your views about the gifts you’ve received with a loved one.
- Make a list of your gratitude blessings.
- Every week, set aside some time to sit down and write about your blessings, reflecting on what went well and what you are grateful for. Picking a number — such as three to five things — to identify each week can be helpful.
- Be descriptive in your writing and consider the feelings you had when something excellent happened to you.
- Meditate. The practice of mindfulness meditation entails focusing on the current moment without making any judgments. Although many individuals concentrate on a single word or phrase (such as “peace”), you can also concentrate on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).