It’s no accident that all of the major world religions employ some form of gratitude in their rituals. It’s simply because it makes our daily life better, even if you’re not religious nor spiritual.
Gratitude is the feeling of being thankful and showing appreciation for what is in our lives. And thankfulness and appreciation are a pathway to a life of happiness and well-being. When you pause and recognize all of the wonderful things in your life, you feel happier. Appreciation keeps us focused on what is already good in our lives, and opens up the doorway to more goodness to flow into our lives. Gratitude also equips us to handle setbacks and failures in a more resilient way. Science is producing mounting research that our lives are much better when we practice gratitude.
And indeed, gratitude does make your life better in the following ways…
1. You Feel More Satisfied
Not completely happy with your life? Gratitude is a lasting feeling that sustains you longer than other fleeting sensations. Grateful people are more satisfied with their lives because they focus more on what they do appreciate in their life. When you practice gratitude, you take time to appreciate the things that you’re thankful for in your life. And this means that you won’t be longing as much for what’s missing in your life, because you won’t pay as much attention to it.
2. You Motivate Others
When you say “thank you” to someone, they feel that you appreciate what you did for them, even if just a little bit. Saying “thank you” is therefore a powerful motivator for others to keep helping you again, because you are rewarding them with your appreciation. Have you ever noticed how it feels when someone doesn’t appreciate what you did for them? It makes you not want to help them again in the future because they don’t appreciate it. Small thank you’s go a long way, whether it’s a simple text message or a thoughtful email, you can never show someone enough gratitude.
3. You’re Happier
Grateful people are happier. They’re more in tune with what’s going well in their lives and focus more on the positive. When you actually count your blessings (I’m grateful for today’s beautiful weather, for my new shoes, for my close friends, etc) it puts you in a positive and uplifting mood. It’s very enjoyable to recognize the things that you might have been taking for granted, and to feel joy for having them in your life.