Gratitude or thankfulness is the single most powerful emotion you possess to improve every aspect of your life. But practicing gratitude is much more than just saying please & thank you. It is a daily commitment to appreciating everything you already have in your life. Powerfully changing your mind to focus on the here and now.
Spontaneously generated from within, gratitude is an affirmation of goodness and warmth. A sense of positivity that both reaches inward and extends outward.
Emotion, Feeling or Both
Is gratitude an emotion?
Yes indeed, it is an emotion. An emotion that makes you feel happy.
Is being grateful a feeling?
Gratitude is both a temporary feeling and a personality trait. In fact, some people are just more inclined to be grateful every day. Why, because it feels good to be thankful.
In both cases, gratitude involves the process of knowing. First, that one has obtained a positive outcome. Second, there is an external source for that good outcome.
Why Gratitude Matters
Psychologists find that, over time, feeling grateful boosts happiness and fosters both positive physical and mental health.
Grateful people feel less pain and have reduced stress. They sleep better, have stronger immune systems, healthier relationships, and do better in life.
Even if you are struggling with mental health, practicing gratitude curbs negative emotions like resentment and envy. Then it minimizes the reoccurrence of these negative emotions.
Gratitude Versus Negative Thinking
Studies show that specific areas of the brain are involved in experiencing and expressing gratitude. Brain scans of people assigned a task that stimulates gratitude show lasting changes that heighten sensitivity to future experiences of thankfulness. So much so, that you want more and more of this feel-good emotion.
On the other hand. When we are in a negative space it is easy to see all the things that are going wrong. When we do this, we filter the world. Thus we become programmed to only see the bad things in our day.
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. But if you are grateful, you are living in the present.” Lianne Weaver
So, train your brain to be grateful. List three things that you are grateful for at the end of each day. Remember, the little things matter too. Stick with this and at the end of five days, you will be surprised at how grateful you are for things as they occur.
In fact, doing this for one week has a positive effect that lasts up to six months.
For more on ways in which to improve your gratitude and overall well-being please visit Wellbeing in the Workplace, with Lianne Weaver.
Also, if you like this post check out You Have Two Hands A thought provoking read about why we need to have balance in our lives.