THE IMPORTANCE OF GRATITUDE
“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation” ~ By Brian Tracy
Gratitude means thankfulness, being appreciative of simple pleasures, counting your blessings and acknowledging everything that you receive. Gratitude can help you shift your focus to the abundance that you already have in your life. How you live your day is a testament to how your day enfolds in front of you. So let’s look at some other aspects of gratitude.
The World Today
From Friday 26 October 2012 the East Coast of the United States was braced for the impact of Hurricane Sandy as the rest of the world watched on in awe of Mother Nature. No-one really knew the enormity of it or what the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy would be like until it finally hit on Tuesday 30 October 2012. It has been a huge reminder of the power of nature and with some of the images similar to the scenes in the science fiction disaster film ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ I wonder how many of you have been affected? Maybe you were impacted through your business, friends, and family or if you were travelling.
Can you imagine what it would be like to have no water, no food, no power, limited access to information to find out what is happening and not knowing how long it will last? Hurricane Sandy is seen as an act of God or Mother Nature’s wrath; but actually what about the people in the world who deal with the aftermath that Hurricane Sandy left on a daily basis, every day.
The United Nations’ food agencies said ‘One in eight of world population going hungry’ and ‘868 million people were hungry in 2010-2012’. Apparently almost half the world, over three billion people, lives on less than $2.50 a day. There is still a huge divide on poverty throughout the world but if we just look at the UK in 2010-11, 18% of children (2.3 million) lived in households classed as below the poverty line. These are all reminders for some of us to simply acknowledge how lucky we are and to appreciate what we have in our lives.
Science & Gratitude
Having researched recent scientific and psychological studies it is apparent that people who are more thankful are happier, have better relationships, and are healthier, are less depressed and less stressed and make greater progress toward achieving personal goals.
Dr. Emmons, author of “Thanks!; How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier” has been studying gratitude for over ten years, shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more creative, bounce back from adversity faster and also have a stronger immune system.
Consider some of these gratitude exercises and see how you feel?
- Write a thank you letter to someone in your life and consider delivering it in person.
- Write a gratitude journal and at the end of each day pick three things that you are grateful for.
- Make a vision board or use pinterest.com to create images you are grateful for in your life.
- Use the simple manners our parents taught us like “please and thank you”.
- Smile – it is an amazing gift to give to someone and see how you feel when they smile back.
One Final Thought
Gratitude can lead to feelings of love, appreciation, generosity, and compassion, which further open our hearts and helps rewire our brains to fire in more positive ways.
My challenge to you is:
- Think about what you might be able to do for a friend to help them.
- Try every day to seize every opportunity to say “Thank You”.
- Before you go to sleep each night why not give thanks in your mind and your heart for the wonderful things you have in your life.