We are concerned about our goals, dreams, ambitions and where we expect to be in five years from now. We have learned to be so ambitious that we are not satisfied with our simple daily achievements, and we forget what really matters in life. Focusing only on the things we don’t have, looks like a perpetual hunting around ourselves. In this process, we fail to be grateful for all the things we have achieved and live for the present. Opposingly, we complain and pay attention to people and situations which bother or hold us back. These are some of the reasons that the meaning of gratitude has a significant impact on self-development. So, how important is it to thank ourselves or others for everything we/they offer to us selflessly?
The meaning of gratitude
Gratitude is each form of expression that shows our appreciation for all these things that we have and positively impact our lives. Gratitude is relevant to the kindness and the beauty of offering and accepting. It is worth highlighting that we aren’t grateful because we expect something in return. However, it does feel “nice” to give and receive, doesn’t it?
Being grateful doesn’t mean that I give up my dreams. It means that I live in the present and am aware of the path I have followed to achieve my goals. I don’t forget where I come from or where I will be without being greedy and enjoying every bit instead.
Indeed, our materialistic culture is not the most fertile ground for gratitude but neither insuperable. We keen to think about things that don’t belong to us throughout our day and how we will obtain them. Consequently, we are giving all our attention and energy to things that we don’t have, and we aren’t sure if we will even gain them.
The benefits of gratitude
The benefits of gratitude are multiple for the person who expresses it and the person who receives it. It promotes happiness and enhances physical and psychological health, even for people who face mental issues. Furthermore, the different forms of gratitude destroy the negative emotion and increase life satisfaction.
Benefits in social life
Thanking someone shows your appreciation for what others do for you, and it can promote healthy interpersonal relationships. As a result, it makes it easier to socialise with more and more people, and you can make new friends or create strong relationships with your loved ones.
Benefits in psychological and physical health
Researches have shown that grateful people who live in the present care more about their health and exercise. Furthermore, gratitude declines toxic emotions and provides wellbeing and happiness while it can also decrease depression.
The acts of gratitude neither cost nor waste your time, and it is only beneficial for you! Everyone can express gratitude, and we need to focus only on what we have instead of complaining about the things we think we worth.
What makes it difficult to express gratitude?
Everyone expresses gratitude differently, and at the same time, each one of us is grateful for different things. For example, someone can feel thankful for watching the plants blossom, while for someone else, this experience may not have any special meaning. Furthermore, it is okay not to feel grateful when we experience a difficult situation like a loss that can delay mourning and our feelings. Consequently, sometimes trying too hard to be thankful in any case has the opposite results from what we wish to.
Experiences from our childhood play a significant role in gratitude. If you were raised in an environment that wasn’t supportive and couldn’t trust others, it is very challenging to understand gratitude. On the contrary, there is the possibility that in the face of others, you see the feeling of fear or threat. And all the above constitute some of the reasons that many people struggle to express gratitude. Nevertheless, even in these scenarios, people can learn how to be grateful.
Each expression of gratitude requires receiving or accepting something helpful for us. Suppose you get used to accepting help during your childhood, and you haven’t experienced any threat. In that case, it is easy to carry this emotion and feel grateful without feeling negative emotions. Consequently, everyone has different experiences, which is why gratitude is expressed in various ways. It can’t be beneficial to push someone to express gratitude if they don’t feel ready.
How to improve your gratitude skills?
Even if our experiences haven’t helped us to develop the emotion of gratitude, there are ways that we can improve it! Below you can find habits that can push this feeling!
Keep a journal!
Keeping a journal can make you aware of and observe all the miracles that happen in our lives, and we have to feel grateful for them. If this is pressing for you or you think that it doesn’t feel right, you can write down about the three things that go well in your life and find their causes. There are good things in your life if you observe them in detail.
Say thank you!
Do you remember when we were younger, and our parents bought us presents and told us to say thank you as a response? There was a reason that they encouraged us to say thank you, and it is never late to discover it! How would you feel if you were writing letters to your loved ones and thanking them for all the things they offered to you? How would you feel?
Think about people who support and encourage you!
Observe people who inspire and support you. What is the thing that makes them so important for you? We speak about the people who sabotage us, and we forget to focus on the people who make our lives better!
Remember a good event that happened in your life!
Is there at least a good event in your life? What is that? Imagine now how your life could be if it hadn’t taken place.
I am grateful means that I observe the beauty around me and understand how others’ actions affect my life.
You woke up today, and this is remarkable. So many people would want to be like you. It’s okay sometimes to forget it, but it isn’t okay to spend your energy only on the bad things. You can also write down every day all the small things that make your day.
I understand your passion for your ambitions and the rush to achieve your goals. If you start to appreciate the things in your life, trust me, your route forward to your dreams will come exciting, and it will make sense, and you will find other people to share the same values! The aim of our lives is not to survive but to live every second. Finally, we need each other not only to exist together but to enjoy the small miracles that happen every day in our lives and fill us with happiness!