Gratitude is a value you choose to live your life by. Cicero (106-43bc) said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues but the parent of all the others.”
Angeles Arrien wrote: “The practice of offering gratitude bestows many benefits. Anger, arrogance, and jealousy melt in its embrace. Fear and defensiveness dissolve. Gratitude diminishes barriers to love and evokes happiness, keeping alive what has meaning for us.”
And this made me think…
When last did you walk outside, look at and appreciate the wonder of nature? Be amused by it, as if you are seeing it for the first time? When last did you walk through your home and say ‘thank you’ for the things you have? When last did you say ‘thank you’ for your partner and children? When last did you walk into your office and say ‘thank you’ for your clients and employees? For the money you received? When last did you say ‘thank you’ for the money in your hand or in your bank and when you are able to pay for something? When last did you appreciate just the simplest things in life?
Gratitude has been studied for millennia because it is a fundamental human emotion. Every language in the world has a word for ‘Thank You’. And every religion emphasizes gratitude.
Robert Emmons found that being more grateful can lead to increased levels of well-being and that being grateful towards a higher power may lead to increased physical health. Giving thanks to those you are in a relationship with (not only your family) will strengthen the relationship. Studies found that persons practicing gratitude showed more optimism in life, reduced stress, depression, and anxiety levels. It is a continuous loop. The more we experience gratitude and say ‘thank you’ the more we will find in life to
appreciate. When we choose gratitude over happiness even our self-control is stronger. Research found that patients with heart failure showed reduced symptoms of heart failure and inflammation, improved sleep, and moods through keeping a gratitude journal.
Teri McKeever, a swimming and DING coach, incorporated gratitude exercises into her team’s practices, with incredible success. The practice sessions were more productive during exercise and more team coherence was evident.
Now imagine what practicing gratitude will do in your business! Neurological studies found that gratitude increases activity in the areas if the brain dealing with morality, reward, and judgment.
How can you apply gratitude in your life?
*Count your blessings – You can either write 5 that you are thankful for. Either in the morning or evening or both.
* A Symbol – Have a reminder, like a rock or a wallpaper on your phone, to say ‘ thank you’ for the best thing that happened to you that day.
* A Note – Write on a note “Thank you for the money I have been receiving!” and keep it in your purse. Each time you pay for something say ‘thank you’ in your mind.
An unknown author wrote the following:
Be thankful that you do not already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you do not know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations.
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each challenge.
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you are tired and weary.
Because it means you have made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for good things.
A life of rich fulfilment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles and they can become your blessings.
Practising gratitude equates to magic. The magic of gratitude will change your life completely!
By Gerty Green