The benefits of gratitude are becoming more known. Giving thanks and its role in personal happiness has become a focus of attention in positive psychology within the last 15 years.
Sometimes after achieving our goals we can still feel unfulfilled and unhappy. Gratitude is one of the pillars in the mindset of positive people. Appreciating things in your life can lead to happiness.
In Barbados many times when you ask someone how they’re doing. They will calmly respond with a sweet smile ‘I can’t complain, just giving thanks’.
Giving thanks and appreciating the smaller things of life I can say is engrained within Caribbean culture.
One definition of gratitude is:
a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.
Acknowledging any form of goodness in your life, helps you to feel positive emotions.
Gratitude can be expressed for past, present or even future events. Remembering a happy day from your childhood, or appreciating the weather where you live or even having an optimistic outlook on some future event can instantly lift your mood.
Gratitude is a habit and should be constantly practiced. Just as some of us, including myself practice worry, the ability to give thanks is a skill that needs to be cultivated and honed. It shouldn’t be limited to just what people can give you. You can give thanks for the people in your life, for nature or simply for the food that you’re eating.
Some studies have shown that gratitude is linked to emotional maturity.
Cultivating gratitude can be as simple as:
Remembering to say ‘thank you’ to individuals who are giving you a service. Regardless of whether you are paying to receive the service or not. If it is something kind the person has done and you appreciate it, a simple thank you to that person can boost both your moods.
Say ‘thank you’ in your mind, when you think of past actions individuals have done for you or when you may not have the time to thank someone in person.
During prayer or meditation count your blessings. Reflect on positive things that have happened to or for you and your loved ones.
By adopting some of these tips and developing some of your own, you may be better able to concentrate on what you do have INSTEAD OF what you don’t.
How do you show gratitude?