Imagine you have to attend a parent-teacher meeting at your child’s school. But your manager informs you that you have to meet a client for a sales pitch. Around the time when you start panicking, your colleague steps up to fill in for you. Their kindness will leave you with a feeling of appreciation.
You’re filled with gratitude when you’re thankful for someone’s help or just their presence in your life. This could be toward your employer who retained you even when the organization was suffering or a friend who sent you a care package when you were feeling lonely.
In positive psychology, gratitude is well researched as a feeling of strong happiness. It’s a positive emotion that is derived from a healthy mindset. It makes you more resilient and motivates you to achieve your goals. It’s also what connects you with people in your life. We may not always say it explicitly, but there are many times when we’re thankful for something or someone.
Let’s discuss what it means to be grateful and how it can help you improve your personal and professional relationships.
What Is Gratitude?
Why Is Gratitude Important?
How To Develop Gratitude In Life
Examples Of Gratitude
What Is Gratitude?
Every time you say a sincere ‘thank you’ to someone, it’s a form of gratitude. It’s synonymous with appreciation, acknowledgment and respect. Think about a time when someone helped you in a crisis, listened to you when you were feeling low or gave you a shoulder to cry on. You feel positive about people who help you and who are there for you. This can help you strengthen your relationships with the people you surround yourself with.
Gratitude can be expressed in multiple ways. You don’t always have to say you’re thankful. Sometimes a smile or a handshake can do the trick. For many people, praying is the highest form of gratitude and for others, it’s more tangible like receiving a present or a thoughtful letter.
Many times we are advised to “count our blessings”, which is a conscious method of appreciating the things you have. What we might have, someone else can only hope for or vice versa. There’s no one-size-fits-all way to live in this world. So, you have to acknowledge what you have and make the best of it.
Some of the things that are considered blessings are a roof over our head, food on our plate and clothes on our back; these are basic human needs. Being thankful for these necessities will make you happier and more satisfied in life.
Why Is Gratitude Important?
Gratitude is important if you want to nurture relationships with your friends and family, cultivate a habit of saying thanks where it’s due and adopt a positive mindset.
Many of us think of a distant future and the ideal situation where we’ll be happy. We think “If I can have a bigger house, I’ll be happier” or “If I can move to another country, I’ll finally be happy”. But happiness can be found even in the present. It’s the little things like going out with friends, traveling or listening to your favorite music.
A feeling ofgratitudehelps you appreciate the things you have rather than focusing on what you don’t. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be aspirational but it’s important to remember that the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill. If you can answer why you want something, you won’t struggle with how you’re going to achieve it.
The importance of gratitude in life is best understood with this quote by the ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Sometimes when you want more, you forget to appreciate what you already have. It’s important to pause and acknowledge what you’ve achieved, give thanks and make a conscious effort to be happy.
How To Develop Gratitude In Life
Gratitude isn’t always an innate feeling but a choice you make. This can be developed over time. There are many ways to develop gratitude in your daily life. Here are some ways to nudge you in the right direction:
Say ‘Thank You’
This is the most overlooked and the easiest way to express your gratitude. Say thank-you to your parents, your friends and everyone who helps you even in the smallest way.
Acknowledging your coworkers is also important because it can help you build a strong rapport with your managers, peers and juniors. Send a thank-you note or an email at the end of a meeting or a conversation to appreciate their time. Make an effort to recognize what others do for you.
Acknowledge Other People’s Efforts
Sometimes when people do things for us, we tend to take it for granted. For instance, the people we overlook the most are our parents. Even when your mother hands you a glass of water, you should convey that you’re thankful for her effort.
At work, if a close colleague helps you with your tasks, expressing your appreciation will strengthen your relationship. You should go out of your way to acknowledge their effort because if you don’t convey it in some way, they’ll never know that you are grateful for their help.
Develop A Positive Mindset
Starting your morning on a positive note will change the course of your day. If you want to be happy, you have to make certain decisions that lead you on that path. You may think it’s easier said than done. But what if we start building ourselves up instead of putting ourselves down?
Many people turn to daily affirmations as a way to cultivate a positive mindset. Some of these affirmations are:
There’s nothing I can’t do
I am my own person
The possibilities are endless
I am enough(Video) The Power of Gratitude
Tell yourself that you’re in a good place and you’ve got what it takes no matter the circumstances!
The moment you start building yourself up, you’ll learn to accept who you are. For your personal growth, you have to care for yourself and be grateful for the person you’ve become. Before you can start to appreciate others, you have to appreciate your own efforts. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and reminding yourself of that is just as important. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone but yourself. Only you need to know how hard you’ve worked!
Volunteer And Give Back
Give back to society to share your gratitude with others. Philanthropy is an empathetic way to help others and make their lives better. You should try to support a cause you believe in—whether it’s to protect the Amazon rainforest or a green initiative in India. Not only is this immensely satisfying but it also helps you realize that the world is much larger than you anticipated. Many business leaders like Azim Premji and Warren Buffett have dedicated a portion of their wealth to charity to give back to society.
Examples Of Gratitude
There are many examples of gratitude that you might feel in your everyday life. Here are a few:
Being thankful to the person who cooked for you
Being thankful for your good health
Appreciating the person who cleans your house
Acknowledging your junior at work for taking the initiative to ease your workload(Video) Why gratitude is good for you (seriously)
Being grateful to yourself for your financial independence
Being thankful to your friends for a memorable birthday celebration
Being thankful for the life lessons you’ve learned from other people
Being thankful for your teachers and mentors for their support and guidance
Being thankful for having a reason to smile every day
Being thankful for the luxury of choice and having the autonomy to make critical life decisions
If you’re here, you’ve taken the first step toward appreciating your life. You’re already on your way to success. It takes a deep sense of self to realize your place in the world without simply going through the motions. We could spend hours at work or while away time at home. But if you can take a moment to appreciate everything you have, you can approach life with a positive mindset.
Harappa Education’s Discovering Purpose course is designed to teach you how to find your passion and work at it. You’ll learn how to take care of yourself and add meaning to your life. It’s important to find fulfillment in everything you do and being grateful is the most meaningful way to do this. Learn more about the importance of gratitude in everyday life to achieve your goals!
Explore our Harappa Diaries section to know more about topics related to the Lead habit such as Resilience, Humility, Patience vs Self-Control, Self-Motivation & What is the Purpose of Life in order to practice gratitude in everyday life.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.What are the 3 types of gratitude? ›
Some psychologists further categorize three types of gratitude: gratitude as an “affective trait” (one's overall tendency to have a grateful disposi- tion), a mood (daily fluctuations in overall grati- tude), and an emotion (a more temporary feeling of gratitude that one may feel after receiving a gift or a favor from ...What are 2 examples of gratitude? ›
Examples Of Gratitude
Being thankful to the person who cooked for you. Being thankful for your good health. Appreciating the person who cleans your house.
Gratitude is truly a feeling.
From improved physical and psychological health, to relationships, to reducing aggression and enhancing empathy, to better sleep, self-esteem and mental strength—there's no doubt that gratitude can unlock something powerful within you.
- Decreased negative emotions. ...
- Increased empathy. ...
- Improved outlook. ...
- Higher self-esteem. ...
- More inner strength. ...
- Better sleep. ...
- Heart health. ...
- More drive to exercise.
Gratitude is one of many positive emotions. It's about focusing on what's good in our lives and being thankful for the things we have. Gratitude is pausing to notice and appreciate the things that we often take for granted, like having a place to live, food, clean water, friends, family, even computer access.What is the heart of gratitude? ›
Cultivating a heart of gratitude means having an appreciation for life in the present moment. It's counting our blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging the abundance already here. When we are truly thankful for what we already have and content with what is – this is enough.What is the simplest form of gratitude? ›
Joy is the greatest gift that one can receive. It is one of the closest emotions that resemble the love of God on earth, the power of joy is a miracle-maker.What are 5 ways to build our gratitude? ›
- Each day, think of three things you're thankful for. Make it a daily habit to visualize what's good in your life. ...
- Start a gratitude journal. Journaling can be an excellent self-therapy technique. ...
- Thank someone new every week. ...
- Meditate. ...
- Focus more on others' intentions.
Being grateful for what you have is conceived as virtuous, while acts expressing gratefulness to those who have benefited you is often regarded as morally praiseworthy, if not morally expected.
Gratitude keeps you grounded and ever moving forward. The attitude of gratitude helps keep you aligned with your goals and working toward personal development. Practicing gratitude with your employees also makes them feel more in line with the team.What are 3 ways to practice gratitude? ›
- Notice good things, look for them, appreciate them.
- Savor, absorb, and really pay attention to those good things.
- Express your gratitude to yourself, write it down, or thank someone.
I am grateful for my job, it is keeping me sane im these tough situations. I am grateful for my home and family, they are my backbone. I am grateful for my friends, they are keeping me alive. Last and most importantly, I am grateful for myself, for I am taking small steps everyday to becoming a better person.What happens to your brain when you express gratitude? ›
What they found was "that gratitude causes synchronized activation in multiple brain regions, and lights up parts of the brain's reward pathways and the hypothalamus. In short, gratitude can boost neurotransmitter serotonin and activate the brain stem to produce dopamine." Dopamine is our brain's pleasure chemical.What are the four parts of gratitude? ›
From this dispositional perspective, gratitude is an emotion experienced in terms of four elements: gratitude intensity. gratitude frequency. gratitude span.How can I be grateful everyday? ›
- Don't be picky: appreciate everything. ...
- Find gratitude in your challenges. ...
- Practice mindfulness. ...
- Keep a gratitude journal. ...
- Volunteer. ...
- Express yourself. ...
- Spend time with loved ones. ...
- Improve your happiness in other areas of your life.
obliged, thankful, indebted, beholden. in the sense of beholden.What is the root of gratitude? ›
The word gratitude comes from the Latin root gratus, meaning “pleasing; welcome; agreeable.” Gratus is also the root of related terms such as grace, gratuity and gratis, all signifying positive moods, actions and ideas.What is a good sentence for gratitude? ›
with gratitude He smiled at them with gratitude. gratitude (to somebody) (for something) I would like to express my gratitude to everyone for their hard work. I feel a deep sense of gratitude to her. in gratitude for something She was presented with the gift in gratitude for her long service.What are the blessing of gratitude? ›
Ultimately gratitude helps us have a humble orientation to our God. James 1: 17 tells us that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.” Gratitude helps us recognize this truth. The Lord has blessed us with many, many good things, not because of our merit, but out of His great love.
The higher frequency we can get, the better. Gratitude vibrates at 540 MHz. Being grateful falls on the same level as love — it is one of the highest vibrational frequencies you can be at. The more time you can spend in gratitude and love, the more your body's frequency raises and the healthier your body becomes.What is the healing power of gratitude? ›
Gratitude can be a vital tool, whether you're in recovery from a substance use disorder or struggling with other personal challenges such as relationship problems, economic hardship, mental health issues, illness and grief. The practice of gratitude can help retrain your brain to help reorient it out of despair.What causes a lack of gratitude? ›
Some mental roadblocks to gratitude include feeling impatient, having high expectations, or thinking that the subject is too sentimental. Devoting enough time to the practice can help change one's mentality about gratitude.Why gratitude is the best attitude? ›
Gratitude shifts our mindset. Shifting focus from ourselves to appreciating someone or something gives us the opportunity to express thankfulness for every part of our life. An attitude of gratitude means making the conscious habit of expressing appreciation on a regular basis for big and small things alike.Why is it important to express your gratitude even during hard times? ›
“During a difficult time, gratitude is more important than ever,” he says. “Research shows that gratitude can help us cope with traumatic events, regulate our negative emotions, and improve our well-being. More importantly, gratitude can have a positive effect on our friends and family, too.What are 3 ways to show gratitude? ›
- Show your appreciation to someone who did something nice. ...
- Express gratitude by doing a kindness. ...
- Tell the people in your life how you feel, what they mean to you.
Specifically, it acts as a moral barometer, drawing attention to help received; a moral motivator, encouraging a prosocial response to help; and as a moral reinforcer, where the expression of gratitude makes the benefactor more likely to provide help in the future (McCullough et al., 2001).How can gratitude help us endure or get through difficult life events? ›
Gratitude maximizes happiness in multiple ways, and one reason is that it helps us reframe memories of unpleasant events in a way that decreases their unpleasant emotional impact. This implies that grateful coping entails looking for positive consequences of negative events.