The dictionary definition of gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. The word gratitude originates from a Latin word gratus which means pleasing or being thankful. It is a feeling that takes different forms such as acknowledgement, indebtedness and recognition. It is a spiritual experience that originates with a sense of joy or accomplishment and leads to more happiness.
Gratitude takes different shapes; gratitude towards god is religion and is expressed through meditation and prayers. Gratitude towards family is love and towards friends is affection, and is expressed through care and benevolence.
Everyone has something or other in their lives that they are grateful for. While sometimes we may have someone who has helped us obtain or achieve something to be thankful to, such as a teacher or a friend who stood by us in our times of financial or emotional hardship or helped us find a good job, at other times it could just be a person or an event that brings us joy, such as the blessing of a grandparent or the birth of a baby.
Two leading American researchers, Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, describe gratitude as personality strength. According to them, it is the awareness of good things that happen to us that we should not take for granted. Gratitude is a miracle that can do wonders, such as turning denial into acceptance and strangers into friends.
Grateful individuals express appreciation in a heartfelt manner, and not just to be polite. A high level of gratitude often brings an emotional sense of wonder, thankfulness and appreciation for life.
The beginning of gratitude is counting your blessings. These don’t have to be extraordinary things. The biggest blessing is life itself.
Each one of us has our own destiny, as a result of which life endows us with all kinds of experiences — good and bad. Each experience is a teacher and makes us a better person so that we gain the ability to deal with future challenges and appreciate our struggles and their outcomes. We must develop an attitude of gratitude and be thankful for everything that happens to us.
We come across people who help us get through the obstacles that life throws at us. We learn and grow with these people. Some of them stay with us for life such as family and some of them we lose on the way, such as certain friends. Regardless of that, expressing gratitude goes a long way. A simple thank you is a lot more than just two words. It expresses understanding and humility. It makes life more meaningful by unlocking the fullness of life. It makes us feel content and brings peace.
Some people express gratitude with an act of kindness towards the person who brought them joy. Others like to show their gratefulness with an act of philanthropy towards society. Gratitude not only makes the person on the other end feel happy but brings joy to the one who expresses it.
In today’s fast-paced, stressful life, events and situations sap our energy and optimism. Gratitude lifts us up when we’re feeling low. It is proven that gratitude enhances happiness and well-being while boosting positivity and energy levels leading to more productivity. It endows us with empathy.
In short, it not only makes us happy but also makes us a better person. Research has demonstrated that individuals who exhibit and express the most gratitude are happier, healthier and more energetic than the ones who don’t.
Readers, if you have questions related to your life or life skills send a mail to Aanandika Sood and she will certainly have a response for you.