“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nutures the soul” Rabbi Harold Kushner
Gratitude. Everyone knows what it is right? Do you understand and practice gratitude? Do you think about it or do you take it for granted?
According to the dictionary, gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
There are many more detailed descriptions of gratitude. Harvard Medical School writes that gratitude is “a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals–whether to other people, nature, or a higher power”
So what are the benefits of practicing gratitude? It can be beneficial in every aspect of your life. For it to be beneficial for you at work you have to look at how it benefits you personally. You cannot truly practice gratitude in one and not the other. You can’t fake gratitude.
Think about yourself and your life. What aspects of your life are you grateful for? Do you have good health, a family, a job? Are your parents still alive? Do you have children or a pet you love? Do you have a job and an income? Do you love books, gardening, hiking in nature? Are you able to do all these things?
We take so many things for granted. My parents are gone and I wish they were still here. I have good health and so many people do not. Going outside and listening and seeing nature around me. Hearing the sound of my grandson learning to talk.
I am grateful for all those things and they all make me happy. We are happier when we are grateful for the things we have.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Here are just a few of the benefits we receive from practicing gratitude:
- Gratitude causes happiness. We are happier and have a more optimistic outlook. When we are happy everything else becomes so much easier.
- We think less about ourselves and more about others. We look for ways to show gratitude to others for what they do and to help others in return.
- We have more self-esteem and we are less envious/jealous towards others.
- We feel better. We are more relaxed and we sleep better. Because of this our overall health improves and our energy levels increase.
- We are more friendly and open towards others which in turn promotes better relationships both personally and professionally.
- When we have gratitude we are more helpful and show more understanding toward others. We are more empathetic.
- We listen better and are more respectful. People will want to form a friendship or a better relationship with us because we are more pleasant to be around. People trust us and value our opinion because they know they will be treated with respect.
- Our outlook improves and we are more helpful towards others which in turn may lead to better work relationships and better results in networking.
Being grateful and showing gratitude to others may be something you do not think about. You understand the concept but take it for granted that you do practice gratitude. But do you?
Some people are certainly better at it than others to the point that you might say they were born that way. I attempt to be grateful but I know I could be better. I always greet people, tell them to have a good day and say thank you.
I really believe that most of us, including me, just take things for granted. We are busy, we may overlook it and then say you will say thanks the next time. Then we forget. Have you ever held the door for someone and they walk right through and do not look at you? They do not smile or say thank you.
Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more commonplace. I am a woman and I have held a door for men before and they do not even acknowledge me. Pretty rude wouldn’t you say? It won’t keep me from doing it again though.
Sometimes such a simple act can make all the difference in a person’s life. It makes me feel better by doing it, it makes me smile. Most of the time someone smiles back.
As a society, I sometimes feel we are disconnected. What kind of life will it be if we all become unaware of each other because we are so lost in our own thoughts or activities?
Gratitude is important. Individual people, families, the people we work with and society as a whole all benefit from the practice of gratitude.
Make a practice of thinking about what you are grateful for. Acknowledge someone who has done something for you.
Do simple things like saying hello, smiling and offering to help. Buy someone a coffee. Write someone a thank you card or send an email saying how much you appreciate them. Hug someone. Take flowers to someone. Be quiet and listen and acknowledge what is being said. Be kind. If you have not seen your neighbor lately, particularly if they are older or not in good health, knock on their door and ask if there is anything you can do.
I am grateful for being able to share my blog with you today. What are you grateful for?
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day