How many times have you used phrases such as, “I’m really glad that” or “Thank goodness that”? Speaking in this way, is a form of gratitude, expressing what we’re thankful for. The importance of being grateful can’t be emphasised enough, because it has a positive effect on us.
Gratitude originates from the medieval Latin word gratitudo, which, in turn, comes from Latin gratus and means pleasing or thankful. The oxforddictionaries.com defines it as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation and to return kindness.
Most of us were brought up to be polite by saying please and thank you. By themselves, they are only words, it’s the emotion and genuineness attached to them that makes them meaningful. As a child, were you ever disappointed when opening a Christmas present? I know I was, when expecting a nice toy to fall from the wrapping paper, only to find a boring jumper! Being taught to say thank you wasn’t about the present, it was the fact that you’d received one. Now that’s the importance of being grateful!
The Importance of being Grateful with Gratitude
One morning recently, I was coming down the stairs at home, it was dark, I had my iPad in one hand and a glass of water in the other. Because of this, I didn’t switch the light on (silly, I know) and when I got to what I thought was the bottom stair, it wasn’t! I slipped badly, but thankfully (a bit of gratitude there) I managed to stop from falling.
What could have been a painful disaster, was averted and I said to myself, “Thank **** for that!” It’s interesting that my gratitude came to me without thinking about it. I realized that being thankful isn’t difficult, it’s something that can come naturally.
Even now, I still feel grateful I wasn’t hurt and importantly, at the same time learned a lesson not to use the stairs in the dark or next time, I might get a ride in an ambulance. I’m sure you have your own similar stories you’re grateful now for a lesson learned from a previous experience. Gratitude can be a good guide for us.
Science Research on Gratitude
Professor of psychology at UC Davis, Robert A Emmons is an expert on the science of gratitude. He said, “The practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life. It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep. Gratitude reduces lifetime risk for depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders, and is a key resiliency factor in the prevention of suicide.” He wrote a best-selling book about it, Thanks! How The New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.
Harvard Health Publishing cites Dr Martin E P Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, who asked a group of people to think of their earliest memories. They had to think of someone who’d never been thanked properly for a kind act, then to write and deliver a letter of thanks to them. The result was that the precipitants experienced a massive increase in happiness scores which lasted around a month.
These studies don’t necessarily prove anything, but they do show that being grateful can make you feel good. Positive feelings enhance energy vibrations, so you are on a frequency which aligns with like vibrations. This is part of the process to reprogram your mind. It’s an important step to creating an abundance mindset.
Be Grateful for What You Have
It’s good to be grateful for what you have, to feel it, because things can change. It isn’t possible to feel positive 100% of the time. Sometimes we get sad, angry or don’t feel grateful at all. It’s part of being a human being. Although we might not feel it, there are things to be grateful for. Seek them out, because they will help to change your vibration.
When my dad died recently, I was naturally very upset, but at the same time very grateful that I knew this great man. In his last few years we had got to know each other much better and spent more time together. Because he was frail, I took him to places he wanted to go to.
Getting him through customs at airports and onto the plane was so stressing for me, but I’d gladly suffer that stress again to be able to travel with him one more time. As I sit here writing about and remembering these moments, I have tears rolling down my cheeks. Tears of sadness because of the loss, but really, they are tears of gratitude. I am so grateful for those times, they are still with me in my memories and will be there forever. I’m very grateful for that every day.
Importance of Expressing Gratitude
Express gratitude whenever you can, it’s amazing the difference it can make to you and those around you. If you do it regularly, it will become a habit and can only have a positive effect on your life.
At some point, we all make what we feel are bad choices. That’s how they feel at the time, but very often in hindsight, we realize it wasn’t a bad choice at all, it just felt like it at the time. If you look for things you’re grateful for, you’ll focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t have.
You know that what you focus on, attracts more of the same, so focus on the things to be grateful for in life. “If I hadn’t done that, then this would never have happened” – that’s the importance of gratitude and appreciation. The power of gratitude shouldn’t be underestimated, it’s the importance of being grateful and being thankful for what you have.