Expressing gratitude has many benefits, but it can be challenging to put into practice.
Feeling grateful goes far beyond just thinking about it.
The trick about gratitude is that you are not grateful to get anything or for anything. You are just grateful.
What is gratitude?
Gratitude is an emotional response of appreciation or thankfulness.
Gratitude is often expressed towards another person or entity. Still, it can also be extended inwards to recognize one’s blessings, good fortunes, or the wonder of just being alive.
Through cultivating gratitude, we can experience, appreciate and celebrate life to the fullest, and recognize even the smallest everyday accomplishments and events.
The benefits of feeling grateful
Studies have shown that individuals who regularly express gratitude are more likely to:
- experience higher levels of well-being than their peers
- be happier, less stressed, and more optimistic overall
- report better sleep quality
- experience fewer physical ailments
- have stronger relationships with friends, family members, and colleagues
Thinking vs. feeling and expressing gratitude
When we think about being grateful, we might come up with the same list each day – such as good health, having food to eat, or a roof over our heads.
But simply repeating these items won’t help us truly appreciate them.
Moving beyond thinking about what you appreciate and actively feeling grateful is essential. Reflect deeply on the good things in your life and recognize how they are interconnected. Be patient and keep at it until feeling grateful becomes a habit.
Don't be grateful for something. Just be grateful.
When practicing gratitude regularly, remember that you don’t need anything specific in your life to be grateful – you can be grateful for your current situation even if you don’t view it favorably right now.
By holding ourselves accountable for maintaining an attitude of openness and acceptance towards what life dishes out rather than needing something extraordinary before feeling thankful – we begin opening ourselves up for greater joy and contentment on a daily basis.
We are not grateful to get anything or for anything. We are just grateful.
How to cultivate gratitude in your life
Practicing regular habits related to expressing our thanks makes infusing gratitude into everyday life much easier.
Each morning or evening, you can commit at least 5 minutes to reflect on 3-5 things that made you feel thankful in the past day.
This practice helps set the tone for being mindful throughout the day whenever good feelings arise within us.
Additionally, participating in activities such as volunteering regularly or writing a message of appreciation are great ways to further deepen your feelings of gratitude.
Expressing gratitude is a Magic Move that brings many benefits to our lives. It is a feeling that you can actively cultivate. By practicing gratitude, we can increase our overall well-being, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve our relationships with others.
Remember to focus on the feeling of gratitude rather than just thinking about it and be grateful in general rather than for something specific.