What is gratitude? It’s more than staying thank you when you are served or someone opens the door for you. Gratitude is not a statement – but a practice. Something we need to engage in and carry out on a daily basis – gratitude for life.
We all have something to be thankful for, and still not many of us are truly grateful. Throughout our lives, we only complain about things we do not get, and take for granted the things we already have, which is why we end up feeling so deprived and empty at times. This is why adopting an attitude of gratitude for life will serve you well and help you in your all round wellbeing.
The Art and Science of Gratitude
Consider the many small or big things in your life, people, places, and take a moment to appreciate them. Being grateful and appreciating things in life is what we call gratitude.
Understanding the true meaning of gratitude right lead you to search about the difference between “greatful vs grateful meaning” and “thankfulness vs gratitude.” So we’re giving you a slightly more scientific version.
A definition of gratitude provided by psychiatry researchers Randy A Sansone & Lori A Sansone is:
“The appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself and represents a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation.”
We should express our gratitude to those who help us, or acknowledge the blessings in our lives silently. You don’t have to conserve your gratitude for only the momentous things in life: sure, you can express gratitude for bigger things in life, but you can also express gratitude for simple pleasures like a delicious dessert, or a neighbour who watched your cat.
Even those with mental health problems, can benefit from gratitude for its positive effects on happiness and physical health.
Gratitude offers benefits for bodies, minds, and relationships according to world-renowned scientist Robert Emmons. According to Robert Emmons, there are two main components of gratitude.
The first component is, “It is an expression of goodness in one’s life”. Our joy is affirmed by the good things that exist in the world, as well as the gifts and benefits we’ve received. The good of life is that it is rich in textures and comes with many elements that make it worth living – big and small. And this is another reason why we should adopt the mindset of gratitude for life.
Another component of gratitude is knowing that “goodness comes from outside of ourselves.” At this point, we recognise our blessings, and whose sacrifices made it possible for us to be content.
How to Practice Gratitude for Life
It pays to always be grateful, no matter what your situation in life. You can practice and enhance your gratitude through many gratitude exercises and activities. But some simple ways to practice gratitude are as follows:
- Making a gratitude journal: Practice reminding yourself daily of the good things you enjoy, the grace that surrounds you, and the benefits that you receive. It is possible to embed a theme of gratefulness into your life through the integration of gratitude associated with ordinary events or your personal attributes.
- Noticing: Start noticing the thank yous you say and how relieving it feels to you.
- How it started vs how it’s going: The contrast between how difficult life used to be and how far you have come can be prolific for gratitude when you remember both, be grateful to the journey.
- Expression: It is necessary to express our gratitude to others. Thank your partner, friend, or family member when they do something you appreciate.
- Hobbies: Gratitude indeed makes you happy, but happiness can also make you grateful. Exercise or participating in a hobby you enjoy are other ways to keep your mood up.
- The 3 questions: Ask yourself three questions. Reflect on your relationships with parents, friends, siblings, work associates, children, and partners using these three questions:
“What have I received from __?”
“What have I given to __?
“What problems and difficulty have I caused?”
Think about how you tackled all the challenges that you faced, be grateful and embrace gratitude for life.
Just say thank you: Always smile say thank you for every little and simple thing, write short notes of how grateful you are for everything in life.
The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude for Life
Apart from just being the right thing to do, practicing gratitude for life comes with many other benefits that can boost your mental and emotional wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around you.
- Expression of gratitude for life enhances well-being, gratifying people are more agreeable, more open, and less neurotic
- When you express gratitude for life and for someone’s help, it strengthens relationships, helps you form and maintain relationships, and enhances relationship satisfaction and connection.
- Those who concentrate on gratitude are very buoyant people and they are very positive about their physical health and well-being.
- The more things and people we find to be grateful for, the greater our sense of happiness and satisfaction will be.
- Boosts self-confidence, self-control, and self-love.
- Gratitude aids our minds and bodies to be healthier.
Feeling Grateful: Make it a Habit
The practice of giving thanks and acknowledging your blessings makes room for greater abundance in your life. A simple gratitude of thanks, and writing down what you are grateful to or for at the start of your day can set the tone and intention for your day and put you in a better frame of mind.
It doesn’t have to be a grand sweeping gesture with materialistic tones – you are just recognising the good things in your life and creating a moment of positivity. Now that you know the obvious benefits of practising gratitude for life, and know the attitude of gratitude meaning, go forth and adopt that attitude- and see the difference it makes.
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