Listening time 5:27
What is the power of gratitude and why does it really matter? Is it just good manners? What is it about being grateful that makes it powerful?
Gratitude is a sensation that attaches to our capacity to feel and relay thanks and acknowledgement for both ourselves and to others. Being grateful is a choice, and a habit. So, why does it matter? Why should we choose to make time for gratitude? Is it all about making other people feel good? Although receiving gratitude from others feels great, expressing gratitude also affects our general capacity to experience greater happiness and buoyancy for ourselves and these results are likely to be ongoing and long term. This is the power of gratitude.
Studies validate that using the whopping power of gratitude (maintaining a consistent outlook of being grateful and thankful) is good for our health. Gratitude often helps us to be happier and increasingly optimistic and helps improve mental, physical and relational well-being including: increased self-esteem, improved productivity, heightened energy levels, decreased headache, stress, anxiety, depression, better sleep, a strengthened heart and immune system and decreased blood pressure.
Being Grateful for What Isn’t Happening
“The best things in life are not only free, they are mostly invisible.” — Thaddeus Golas
As we move along in our day-to-day lives, we accept the many good things we have as “given”. We take these good things for granted simply accepting that they are a part of our lives. It’s only when they are threatened in some way that we are reminded of the great value they hold for us. This is where the power of gratitude comes into play. When we slow down and take inventory of the many things in our lives that we may be taking for granted, we will often find that we feel fulfilled, happy and comfortable. We can begin to acknowledge how much there is to be truly grateful for.
Most of us focus on “problems” rather than focusing on all that’s going right. Often our problem is something that threatens the very things in our lives that we didn’t fully appreciate until “the problem” arose.
Gratitude Attracts Good Things
The law of attraction states that we will attract into our life the things we think about and focus on. Focusing on the things you are grateful for will attract more good things. This is power of gratitude.
Improved relationships. The habit of saying “thank you” is not only an expression of good manners, but it also strengthens the bond of our relationships. When you thank someone for their help, (which also includes their contribution, attendance, gift, compliment, actions, thoughtfulness, etc… ) they feel acknowledged and aware that you are enjoying their gift. This is the power of gratitude.
Reduced negativity. Counting your blessings allows you see the positive things in your life and can elevate your mood as you reflect upon all there is be thankful for. This is the power of gratitude.
Improved problem solving. When we focus on all we have in our lives and all that is going well, it helps us see possibilities instead of obstacles, recognizing the silver lining in even the darkest clouds. This is the power of gratitude.
How to Feel More Gratitude
Acknowledgement of all that’s good in your life, no matter how ordinary it may seem, is the first important step you can make on your path to gratitude.
- Make a list of ten things you are grateful for. These can be important things (like your children, parents, spouse) or small seemingly insignificant things (like making all the green lights on the way to work). Write them down. Go ahead, do it now.
- Look over your list and enjoy the pleasure of having these things in your life, day, experience, etc…
- As you look over the list, find and contact at least one person you can call or email to thank them and express your gratitude and appreciation. Go ahead, do it now.
- Personal Core Values Inventory: 14 Quick Questions
- Whopping Power of Gratitude: Say 10 Thank You’s
- Laugh Big, It Feels So Good: 9 Ways to Start
- Find Your Natural Aptitude: The 2 Best Tools
- Living in the Now: 3 Easy Stay-in-the-Moment Habits
- Kindness: What’s So Great About Goodness? 9 Traits
- 3 Ways Celebrating Others Makes Us Happy
- Super Charge Your Affirmations: 5 Quick Steps
- Dangers of Stress: 16 Reactions That Impact Health