Most of us think that saying "Thank you" is enough to express gratitude. Sometimes it becomes too engraved in a routine that it loses its meaning and essence. Today, most of us are missing the benefits of gratitude and it's about time to cultivate this positive trait.
WHAT IS GRATITUDE?
Contrary to popular belief, saying 'thank you' is not the only way of showing gratitude. It is a positive emotion wherein you are more focused on appreciating the good and the generosity of other people. This positive emotion comes in various forms like being appreciative of a good deed, being contented of what you have and appreciating that no bad incidents happen to you.
WHAT HINDERS US FROM REAPING THE BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE?
Have you ever wondered why sometimes we suddenly stopped being thankful for something? This is because we get used to the feeling and move on to the next thing that will make us feel grateful. When we receive a constant emotion-producing stimulus, we feel less emotion. This is called hedonistic adaptation.
Hedonistic adaptation is a double-edged sword. It can help you achieve greater things in the future but hinders you from being truly happy. It is an advantage for achieving things in life but detrimental to our relationships. Being constantly grateful for having your family around makes your relationships more meaningful unlike being used to it.
The Benefits of Gratitude
Gratitude is starting to fade in this generation and starts to feel like it's the feeling of being indebted. Indebtedness is a feeling where the recipient of the favor expects to return but has a choice of not doing so. Gratitude, on the other hand, makes the recipient of the favor reciprocate the good deed and return the favor.
Being grateful is a very powerful emotion that costs us nothing but pure sincerity and intent. It's just like exercise which is an overlooked antidepressant. Here are the benefits of this positive emotion.
1. It develops our personality
Gratitude does not only affect our social relationships but also makes us better versions of ourselves. Wondering how it can happen? Here are the positive things that can happen to you by being grateful.
BOOSTS YOUR CONFIDENCE
Gratitude allows you to be kinder to people who are nice and helpful to you and your family. When people do you a favor, an act of gratitude does not doubt the act of kindness itself. You will see yourself worthy of the favor and not someone that they are taking advantage of.
HELPS YOU BECOME MORE COMPASSIONATE
One of the best benefits of gratitude helps you to see the good in bad situations. When someone gives you negative feedback or you receive an unpleasant gesture, grateful people tend to understand and empathize with the individual without feeling negativity back.
STRENGTHENS MENTAL HEALTH
Grateful people try to see the good things that they can be thankful for even in the most distressing situations. It propels them to keep going and overcome anything that they are going through.
Gratitude is a positive emotion that focuses on good things rather than bad. One of the benefits of gratitude is believing that any situation is better compared to worse things that could have happened.
Being connected to people and being away from the concept of self-sufficient makes grateful people rely on and be grateful for the blessings of the higher power regardless of their religion.
2. It helps us to improve our career
Being grateful also makes us better bosses and colleagues to our coworkers. The benefits of gratitude in your professional life are as follows:
GRATITUDE HELPS YOU BE A GREAT LEADER
Expression of gratitude over constructive criticism produces a higher rate of compliance and effectiveness in implementing change. It is even believed that appreciation makes people do more than what is expected.
Gratitude in the form of positive reinforcement has been proven to improve the compliance rate in healthcare industries based on a clinical study by Oxford. The study used hand hygiene practices as a method to measure the effectiveness of tech boards. Using the general fear of disease-causing bacteria as a reminder, compliance is at 24.7% to 31.8% from the medical staff. The compliance rate reached a level of 95% rate when the messaging on the boards were changed to commendations of personnel who religiously followed the hand hygiene practice.
HELPS YOU NETWORK
Gratitude initiates a positive loop of feedback. Doing good and appreciating the favors you receive from colleagues helps you build deeper relationships with your business partners and other constituents. When colleagues and other business partners feel appreciated the business relationships thrive which can keep them coming back for the good service.
3. Improves physical health
A positive emotion that multiplies into several positive feedbacks will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your health. These benefits of gratitude include the following:
CONTRIBUTES TO A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP
Having positive thoughts at least 15 minutes before going to bed can help you have quality sleep. In a study conducted at the University of Manchester, 40% of the participants slept faster and longer when they answered gratitude related questionnaires before going to sleep. Positive as you sleep helps you relax and avoid stressing about the negative thoughts.
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE CAN HELP YOU LIVE LONGER
Optimism and healthier relationships can improve our life satisfaction rate. Just as we've discussed above optimism and meaningful relationships are also a by-product of gratitude. A person who has a grateful personality trait makes can keep a happier life compared to those who are not. Many studies have linked happiness and satisfaction to leads most of us to live a happier and longer life.
4. Improves our mood
Appreciating a favor and being thankful for the good things in your life turns you into a strong person. Not only does it make you feel physically healthy but also mentally strong against the negative distractions in everyday life.
HELPS BUILD RESILIENCE
Traumatic situations often lead people to lose hope and suffer from PTSD and other mental conditions. However, being thankful for the things that you still have in spite of the traumatizing situation helps you become more resilient and recover faster.
REDUCES ENVY & INCREASES SELF-WORTH
Too much exposure to social media sites may cause some of us to compare the lives that we have with others. Sometimes it makes us feel that just because they experience luxury and happiness makes our life not as fulfilling as it actually is.
On the other hand, people who value gratitude are not swayed by feelings of envy. It helps them to be happier for the success of others without comparing their life with their friends.
5. Builds our social relationships
Gratitude makes people do favors for other people with a happy heart without the expectation of receiving it back. It helps build stronger relationships and one of the reasons why most business and personal relationships thrive throughout the years. Here are some social benefits of being a grateful person.
BUILDS MORE MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS
When we do good for other people, it opens a new door for a potential relationship. Though not a lot of people can reciprocate them, you will be remembered as someone who can appreciate and not doubt people's sincerity in doing good. One of the benefits of gratitude is once a person sees your positive reaction towards them, then it will naturally invite them to do more for you. Thus, making them your friend in the long run.
STRENGTHENS YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Hedonistic adaptation as mentioned above is breaking a lot of marriages nowadays. This is not because they no longer love each other. However, these couples are already becoming used to the good things that they have. Appreciating your partner can combat such a pattern. Being grateful for your partner and everything they do for you is a precious aspect that you shouldn't take advantage of just because they keep doing it for you.
Friendships that don't count favors from each other are the ones that last the longest. Wouldn't it be nice if someone acknowledges and appreciates your effort? All the more that a relationship becomes more meaningful when your friends reciprocate the love that you share with them as well.
Gratitude is a trait that we should practice. The longer we try, the more results we receive out of it. We hope that this article has helped you improve the way you see gratitude in your life. It is one of the ways to help us be happier beyond the material stuff because the best things in life are free.