It was a cool Wednesday morning and Teachers’ Day was just over last week. I thought nothing will be more apt than to write a little bit on Gratitude.
If you have read books on personal development, goal setting and positive mindset etc, you will find this to be one of the most common topics talked about.
Even seminars by personal development experts like Tony Robbins covers this topic quite extensively.
Why do we need to show gratitude? What role does it have in one’s success?
In this post, I will be covering the benefits of gratitude and how we can achieve it.
So what is Gratitude?
Wikipedia defines gratitude as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Gratitude is more than just a plain thank you. It is an expression of appreciation.
We say ‘thank you’ for almost every help or assistance we get. We may do it because it’s the right thing or we do it because we want to make an impression. Some thank yous are rather extrinsic and more of a lip service.
Gratitude comes from within. Gratitude goes well beyond that a simple thank you. It goes beyond any social interaction or communication.
In fact, gratitude is when you express your appreciation, when there is no one else looking.
Throughout my life as trainer and advocate of personal development, I learned one thing which always holds true;
The things we do when no one is looking will have a greater impact on us than the things we do in front of others. Same holds true when it comes to gratitude.
Benefits of Gratitude
Gratitude is nourishes the mind the same way healthy food nourishes the body. So let’s take a look at some of these benefits of gratitude.
1. Gratitude boosts good feelings.
Robert Emmons, one of the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, and Sonja Lyubomirsky, happiness expert, discovered that practicing gratitude boosts good feelings such as pleasure, enthusiasm, joy, love and other positive emotions.
It is indeed one of the best strategies in self improvement and achieving happiness.
2. It Improves Decision Making.
With gratitude, we will get fulfillment. When we are fulfilled, our focus in life will be on what we have and not we do not.
Those in that state of mind will have more restraint in any discussion than those with no gratitude.
You see, there is a difference between having a big or too much desire versus having too little self control. The scary part is when we hide that weakness of having too little self control with something more positive(or so we thought) like having a big desire.
If we feel grateful and fulfilled, the tendency for us to make impulsive purchases can be reduced.
3. It Conveys Successfulness.
I came across an article on Inc.com, written by Geoffrey James about gratitude as the source of success rather than a result.
If you read the biographies of successful people, entrepreneurs, sports professionals etc, there is always a lot of thing they are grateful for. In many cases, it is their tough experiences during their journey in life that provided them with unique lessons which provided them the opportunity to become who they are.
They may not like what happened but they give gratitude, anyway. Because they know, deep in their hearts, that they might not get that success if it wasn’t for those difficult circumstances. And in most case, they would not trade those experience for anything else.
4. It Improves Relationships.
If you were asked for one factor that caused breakdown in relationships, friendships, marriage and even employment, what will it be?
Can you make a guess?
Throughout the years, like everyone else, I was an employee, a friend, a boyfriend and even a partner to a business venture and one of the most common things that could possibly cause a breakdown in communication is the lack of appreciation or the feeling of lack of appreciation.
So go ahead and show your gratitude. It’s valuable and yet it’s not expensive. Don’t show it and the effect is tremendous and might not be in your favour (unless of course you do want that relationship to break down).
5. It Promotes Physical Health
When you are thankful and grateful for all the things that comes into your life, you live in the moment and you ‘feed’ on positive energy. You are more hopeful for the future and most of the time, you are a happier person.
A happier person is usually less stressed and his body will function better than an unhappy and frequently stressed individual.
In an article on the mindbodygreen website, Dr. Robin Berzin, a functional medicine physician and the founder of Parsley Health, wrote about how stress is detrimental to health stress and is the ultimate ‘immune-modulator’ that could could slow down healing process and increases susceptibility to infections.
6. It Increases Resilience
Keeping tab of the good things that happens in your life will help you maintain a mental balance that you are not the victim of those negative circumstance you’re in.
That journal or diary will serve as a reminder, that for many ‘bad things’ that has happened to you, there are also good things that comes by.
7. Improves Sleep.
This is definitely my favourite benefit. Practice gratitude and you will fall asleep faster, get fewer sleep disruptions and when you wake up, you will feel refreshed and well-rested.
Practice your gratitude exercises and go to bed a happy person. You will wake up a happier person.
Have A Gratitude Journal.
Starting a gratitude journal may not be difficult. The challenge is, and always been, on maintaining that habit.
Here are some tips on how you can maintain a successful gratitude journal.
1. Your gratitude journal can come in many forms. It could be in the form of a blank book, a blog, a mobile app like Evernote, a notepad, a word document or even microsoft note. There are plenty of medium to choose from. This is a matter of personal preference.
2. Set your reminders to remind you to write your journal. These reminders could be in the form of a visual cue (this takes a bit of time to get used to.) and an alarm.
This is an important part.
It does not matter how much you write but it is important that you keep writing every single day.
For a start, maybe you can write about just one thing you are grateful for. Just one point. Try to be as specific as you can and write the names of those people involved.
What if you had a lousy day and have nothing to be grateful about?
Yes, it might be a lousy day for you but there will always be things to be grateful for. Look for the positive points that happened in the day. Even the opportunity to walk past a beautiful flower can be a point of gratitude. There are people in many parts of the world who don’t get to do that.
You might want to refer to the infograph below for the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge to help you stay focussed and directed for the first 30 days.
4. Trust this process.
This process will change you. There is no way that focussing and appreciating the positive things in life on daily basis will not make any change on you.
Those who rant everyday, especially on the social media. tend to be very negative and successful people, in general, avoid such crowd.
So do you want to be the one who emits negative energy or the one who emits positive energy that attracts successful people?
Believe it or not, gratitude is one of the most important parts of personal development.
It forces our thoughts on the good and positive things that happened to us and around us.
Remember, where your focus goes, energy flows..
Source of infographs:https://www.fix.com