It is usually taught or transmitted to us through our parents and families, and is as common and unrecognized as the kitchen sink. This inherited gem is the ability to feel and express gratitude.
While we may think that this is simply polite behavior, studies have found that gratitude is much deeper and has an incredible impact on the way we feel and perceive our world. Feel and express gratitude has been he found to allow people to experience more optimism, joy, enthusiasm and other positive emotions. It does so by lowering the levels of cortisol, growing Positive relationships and reducing cases of anxiety and depression.
Some hypotheses about the physiological and psychological impact of expressing gratitude find links with feelings of higher levels of social support; By recognizing and appreciating the relationships we have, we are more aware of our friendships and communities. Gratitude has also been associated with lower blood pressure, better immunity, better sleep and even more participation in exercise. Expressing this emotion has a significant effect on our ability to rain coat with diverse difficult situations, and alters biases and perspectives to the positive. For this reason the practice of gratitude has become adopted in clinical psychology and is used in prescribed exercises to improve the well-being of patients.
What exactly is gratitude?
"Gratitude gives reverence, which allows us to meet daily epiphanies, those transcendent moments of wonder that change forever the way we experience life and the world."
~ John Milton
Robert EmmonsConsidered as an outstanding scientific expert in gratitude, he sees it as an emotion that strengthens relationships and is both an affirmation of goodness in the world and the recognition that there are sources of goodness outside of ourselves. In other words, gratitude is a conscious focus and appreciation of the positive aspects of life and in this sense it allows us to experience a sense of hope and see the world with optimism.
The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence gratitude views as "a state of mind that arises when you affirm something good in your life that comes from outside yourself, or when you notice and enjoy small pleasures" that can be cultivated in anyone by recognizing the lessons and the impact of both good and bad.
Gratitude can be expressed in almost every situation in your life; For example, when you wake up in the morning and recognize the house that protected you, the bed you slept in, the sheets that kept you warm and the body you live in that has allowed you to wake up and perceive the world. To get to the point where you are experiencing automatic gratitude and more frequently for the simple moments of life, it can be beneficial to practice expressing gratitude through simple routine exercises.
The benefits of practicing gratitude have been examined in multiple studies, one of which was a 21-day gratitude intervention. which resulted in higher amounts of positive moods of high energy, greater social connection, greater optimism and better sleep compared to a control group. Here are some based on science and general activities to incorporate more gratitude in your day:
Keep a gratitude journal: Record three to five things for which you are grateful every day or week. Routinely writing in your gratitude journal will help you realize that there are more and more things to be grateful for every day, week and month. You will also have the benefit of reviewing the previous notes and feeling how beautiful your life is and can be.
Keep a jar of gratitude: A nice twist in the gratitude journal, see this as a bank you can continually contribute to to remind you that things are not always so bad. Use special paper or a particular ink pen to create special notes for you.
Thank-you letter: Write a letter to another person thanking them for something they really valued or thanking you for just being them. Look at it as a step-forward activity in gratitude!
Meditation and yoga: Meditating or participating in yoga are two ways in which we can express gratitude to our minds and bodies, reminding us of our inherent value and capacity and appreciating the ability to think and be present in the world. Thank your body from head to toe, concentrating on every joint, muscle and hair, there is no better way to congratulate yourself!
Imagine your life without: Sometimes we do not know what we have until it disappears. To appreciate more people and parts of your life, imagine your life without something you can take for granted and you can find greater joy and appreciation of your daily life. You can even go a step further and take a break from something that is giving you less joy than you used to; This can help you renew your ability to see its value.
I just gave thanks Say it out of nowhere and say it. Send a text message, make a phone call, touch the door, stick your head out of the office partition … think and recognize how people can do everything possible to be useful and kind.
Taste meals: Before and during the meal, consider where the food on your plate comes from and how lucky you are to be able to nourish yourself and others. Think about how your body will absorb the vitamins and minerals to keep you alive and healthy.
Be attentive to the mundane: Gratitude can and is best practiced in mundane daily tasks. Take a moment to thank the people you work with or serve you throughout the day.
Observe your surroundings: The weather, the grass, the trees, the strangers in the street, the stillness in the air … It may surprise you that concentrating briefly on what surrounds you can make you feel a sense of appreciation and joy.
Breathe: Another meditative practice, but also incredibly powerful, notices your breathing and the brilliance of the body's ability to stay alive.
Donate: There are probably many causes that align with your personal values and charities that work hard to impact social change. Express your gratitude and support by donating to a group or charity. Selfless acts are another version of the expression of gratitude.
We hope you can take some of these tips and put them into practice in your daily routine to realign with what is important and what is valuable to you.
We are very grateful to take the time to read our article on gratitude and we always appreciate your perspective and your comments. Let us know in the comments how you practice and experience gratitude daily.
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