We all want to be happy, but how often do we stop to say thank you and to recognize what we already have? Gratitude is like a magic wand – when we truly express gratitude from the heart, common days are transformed into thanksgiving, routine jobs become enjoyable and fun, ordinary opportunities become blessings, and the cycle continues. Gratitude renders the person positive – you cannot be grateful and depressed at the same time!
When we are grateful, we allow our bodies to produce the feel good hormones (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphines), which intensify when like neurons are awakened (neurons that fire together wire together). This activates and promotes a sense of holistic wellbeing, where one experiences fulfilment, is able to bond with others, and the bodily aches decrease.
Psychological benefits of gratitude:
- Positive thoughts and emotions
- More awareness and a sense of being present
- Increased self-satisfaction
- Enhanced mood… etc.
Physical Benefits of Gratitude:
- Stronger immune system
- Less body pains and aches
- Optimum blood pressure and cardiac functioning
- Better sleep-wake cycles… etc.
Social Benefits of Gratitude:
- Better communication
- Appreciation of others
- More empathy
- Stronger interpersonal relationships
- More likability among group members
- More involvement as a team member… etc.
Gratitude produces true happiness through optimism, selflessness, spirituality, empathy, and high self-esteem.
Gratitude and the Brain
Gratitude wires and fires new neural connections to the brain`s bliss center.
It fosters cognitive restructuring by evoking positive thinking.
It enhances the feel good hormones mentioned above which are the neurotransmitters responsible for happiness.
It reduces fear and anxiety by regulating the stress hormones.
It is not happiness that brings us gratitude, it is gratitude that brings us happiness.
Be thankful for what you are and have, you will end up being and having more. This is the law of attraction – what we send out returns to us multiplied.
How do we Cultivate Gratitude?
Many people believe that gratitude is a result of what one possesses or achieves. They limit gratitude to what comes from outside of themselves. This is a very limiting approach towards life. Instead, if we open our eyes, there is so much to be grateful for. Gratitude sets the pace for improvement of life. In order to cultivate gratitude, it is important to do the following:
- Appreciate yourself – there is so much to be grateful for in our own lives. This helps to concentrate on the positive and when we do, it increases. Complimenting ourselves boosts our self-love.
- Meditate – meditation helps us to connect with ourselves and the Source Energy, and we discover the miracle that is US
- Keep a gratitude journal – it helps to put down what we are grateful for every day, we shall be amazed at how good we feel and how much positivity we attract. There are so many people we can be grateful for, and telling them makes a difference in how we and they feel.
- Gratitude visits – there is so much we can do with what we are and what we have, giving of ourselves, our time, our material goods, enhances our wellbeing and boosts our self-esteem.
- Do not hesitate to be happy – we do not need to ask for permission to be happy. Even if we are living in challenging moments or situations, we can always find something to be grateful for, which leads to inner happiness.
- Find a gratitude buddy – knowing that there is someone else who shares our sense of gratitude is a great boost. We can encourage each other to keep going.
Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
In Conclusion, we Could Say That:
- Gratitude drives happiness
- Happiness boosts productivity
- Productivity reveals mastery
- Mastery inspires the world
- And the world becomes a better place.
Every day, when we wake up, let us acknowledge three things we are grateful for.
Every day, before we retire to bed, let us acknowledge three things we are grateful for, and we shall be amazed at how our life changes!
Please feel free to comment on the article and add something regarding gratitude. You could also share some experiences of the effects that gratitude has had on you.