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."
Practicing gratitude actually increases resilience and hardiness.
It may actually help manifest what you want and wish for
To illustrate the last point, think about how your child responds when you tell him or her how happy you are that they made their bed. Other stuff can be in disarray, but you are just focusing on the bed being made. Odds are your child will make the bed again. Similarly, when you praise someone for simply being there and being who they are, you are inviting the better and most honorable parts of this individual to show up more often. You value their presence and this will be manifested more often in more positive ways.
You can also express gratitude for things you have that may go unnoticed on a daily basis. Your freedom, your home, your job. Expressing silent gratitude for a great meeting or a good business decision curate the aptitudes and effort you brought to the table, and it only calls for more and better of the same.
There are many exercises to help practice gratitude on a daily basis:
Keep a gratitude journal where you may write down things that you feel grateful for.
Think about three things you are grateful for and why.
Take a moment and think about significant people in your life that have made a positive difference in you and your life.
Think about how life would be if something or someone had not been in your path.
Take real time to express gratitude by experiencing togetherness with someone special. Not every in-person meeting should be to talk or discuss something difficult or uncomfortable. In fact, you could surprise someone by invoking their presence without saying much and then shower him or her with gratitude!
A Z Form would be a great tool to help you set up a meeting of gratitude. This customizable form will add mystery and originality to your get together. Get your Z Form now and thank us later!