How often do you stop throughout your day, and think about the good things in your life? Completing that process is called being grateful. Having a sincere appreciation for both the people and possessions in your life. This feeling or emotion is often praised as the "father of all emotion". I personally believe that most likely stems from the fact that every known major religion has an aspect of gratefullness in their practices. Believers are exhorted to give thanks for the good in their lives, and in some faiths even in tough challenges.
Why does giving thanks matter? That may seem like a silly question or not depending on your personal view of this emotion. Either way, an attitude of gratitude has been proven to be a very beneficial component in the lives of people who remind themselves of the good in their lives. There are a number of studies that support this concept, and have shown results that include improved health, mood, and better sleep all by saying thank you more often.
Wow! So, how does someone start to increase the frequency of giving thanks? I would imagine that each and every person reading this is thankful for many things in their lives, but may not verbalize that gratitude. Taking the time to focus your mind, and really think about the good in your life is how outcomes improve according to these studies. ( http://www.socialemotions.org/page5/files/Bartlett.DeSteno.2006.pdf
There are a couple of ways that you can experience the benefits of gratitude:
- Every morning when you wake up say one thing you're grateful for in your life.
- You can split up and say 5 things on one day as well.
- When you return home at the end of the day write down how grateful you are for the events that occurred during you day.
Start small, and see how you feel. Try doing it everyday for one week. Let me know how it goes. The nice thing about gratitude or being thankful is it can be a two way street. You can give and receive, and enjoy the benefits no matter what direction your traveling. Take care.