Updated: Dec 7, 2022
How being grateful harnesses your inner power
Most people say "thank you" to almost anything. It is just like the word "love". It gets thrown out there to cover a myriad of emotional states but are any of those states really "love"? It can get quite amusing to listen to people say "I love," or "love" this or that, only to realize its meaning is washed out and lets get real: "I love my mom" cannot be equal to "I love those shoes."
So going back to saying thank you, it imbues the essence of good manners and yes, it is a nice and often meaningful thing to say. Kids are taught to say thank you all the time and at some point, in life it actually just becomes a reflex. Take another step forward and let's explore being thankful: The Merriam Webster dictionary defines it as being “conscious of benefits received” and also “well pleased.” It is a much more conscious act to be "thankful" that to say "thank you" and in doing so you are acknowledging to have received some sort of benefit.
Now even one step further. Being grateful. Gratefulness while very similar to thankfulness and at times used almost interchangeable, has an added level of inner contentment that does not necessarily tie with a material benefit.
Gratitude is the expression of appreciation for what one has. It is a recognition of value independent of monetary worth. Spontaneously generated from within, it is an affirmation of goodness and warmth. This social emotion strengthens relationships, and its roots run deep in evolutionary history—emanating from the survival value of helping others and being helped in return. (X)
There are many benefits of practicing and/or feeling grateful. Research has found that gratitude leaves its mark in our brains:
People who experience this feeling of gratitude "feel less pain, less stress, suffer insomnia less, have stronger immune systems, experience healthier relationships, and do better academically and professionally."