Why should we practice gratitude? I mean what does that actually do for us? As cheesy as it sounds, practicing gratitude on a regular basis has the potential to change your life in the most positive way. “In positive psychology research, gratitude is consistently associated with greater happiness, more positive emotions such as joy, motivation and tranquillity and better life experiences”.
So what is gratitude? “The word gratitude comes from the Latin word gratus. Gratus means thankful or pleasing”. Gratitude is an attitude. It’s about being thankful and appreciative of what you have. Unfortunately, gratitude is something that’s slowly disappearing from today’s society. These days, people prefer to pay attention to the lack of, rather then focusing on what they currently have. This way of life causes many people to be dissatisfied and unhappy with their current situations.
Practicing gratitude can be a really healthy habit. It’s involves taking time to notice and reflect on the things that you are thankful for. When you practice gratitude you:
- acknowledge the good things that are currently in your life
- appreciate the great experiences that come your way
- relish in the moments of joy, happiness & contentment they bring.
Sometimes in our busy lives we tend to overlook or take things for granted. Often we’re so busy looking at what we don’t have, that we forget to be thankful for what we do have. If you’re struggling to find things to be grateful for, maybe you could consider some of these things:
- your freedom
- your health & wellbeing
- your everyday life experiences
- your uniqueness
- your family and friends
- the food you eat
- a roof over your head
- the air you breath
- your sorrow & your joy
- life’s many challenges
- the ability to think for yourself
- the ability to be in control of your life.
Practicing gratitude comes with lots of benefits. In fact there’s so many that I’d need a whole page to write them on. So I compiled a list of some of the more common benefits for you below. The more you practice gratitude, the more likely you are to:
- generate positive emotions
- experience greater vitality
- have improved sleep
- have better physical & psychological health
- have a stronger immune system
- deal better with adversity
- feel less stressed
- build stronger relationships with others
- be more compassionate with yourself & others
- be more relaxed & accepting of life’s challenges
- have more positive life experiences
- be happier in life.
Practising gratitude may well be one of the most useful ways of attaining happiness there is. What’s great about this practice is that it doesn’t cost you anything except some time, recognition and acknowledgement. So next time you’re feeling dissatisfied with life. Take some time to notice what you have. You might just discover that you’ve got a lot more to be grateful for then you realise.