Gratefulness = Greatness
Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what one receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently linked with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, enjoy good experiences, improve their health, deal with challenges, and build stronger relationships.
People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.
Have you ever noticed that when you think or even worse, say negative things, you attract more negative situations into your life? Having a positive outlook on life, and appreciating what you have, rather than focusing on what you don’t have, shifts your overall mood and happiness. Focusing on your reasons for gratitude means you are focusing on the things that make you happy. This will just give you an optimistic outlook, which will in turn make you feel happier and even more grateful. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle!
Remember: What you think about, you bring about.
Try this out:
- Think of six things you are grateful for every morning as you are getting ready for your day.
- Complete this for a whole month.
- It’s a good idea to write them down as well! If you ever need to be reminded or a quick “pick me up”, grab your list! You’re bound to feel good after reading all of the things that are great in your life!
Amanda Niskala is a Health Promotion Coordinator with Alberta Health Services