Better Mind

The remarkable power of gratitude

The remarkable power of gratitude

The idea that society has deeply embedded in us is the constant desire for more. Once we obtain what we have been pursuing, we experience a surge of dopamine, resulting in a sense of euphoria. However, this satisfaction is temporary, and the initial excitement gradually diminishes, leading us to resume our perpetual pursuit for greater quantities or achievements. This cycle of always craving more continues constantly.

We need to learn to want what we have, not to have what we want, in order to get stable and steady happiness

Dalai Lama

Due to our inclination towards constantly desiring more and feeling discontented with our current possessions or circumstances, we inadvertently overlook the immense value of gratitude. Embracing gratitude, which involves recognizing and appreciating the present state of our lives, is crucial for experiencing genuine enjoyment. Moreover, gratitude plays a vital role in bolstering our resilience during challenging times and fostering stronger connections with others.

Similar to adopting healthy eating habits, engaging in regular exercise, or practicing meditation, gratitude can be actively cultivated. It requires consistent effort and dedication. By incorporating gratitude into our lives, we open ourselves up to the possibility of leading more fulfilling and pleasurable existences. Embracing gratitude holds significant sway in achieving this desirable outcome.

Gratitude has widespread benefits

According to research, individuals who actively cultivate gratitude demonstrate notably elevated levels of happiness and psychological well-being. They exhibit reduced instances of depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as fewer physical pain symptoms. Additionally, they experience enhanced professional success and possess higher self-esteem. Furthermore, their relationships tend to be more positive and fulfilling.

Remarkably, even a mere two-week period of daily gratitude practice yields enduring positive effects on mood and optimism, with the benefits lasting for up to six months.

Gratitude serves as a substantial psychological catalyst, exerting a significant positive impact.

Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

What does the concept of gratitude entail?

Gratitude should not be misconstrued as pretending that everything is perfect or denying the existence of problems. Rather, cultivating gratitude entails making a conscious choice to direct your time and focus towards the aspects of life that you genuinely appreciate. This choice plays a pivotal role in shaping your overall experience and, ultimately, your well-being.

Dr. Korb, the author of ‘The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time’, emphasizes that your psychological well-being relies less on external circumstances and more on where you direct your attention. Gratitude serves as a powerful tool to redirect your brain’s attention, influencing your overall mindset.

Appreciation acts as a gentle force, melting away barriers and fostering a sense of openness within us. It allows our hearts to connect with the simple wonders of everyday life that we often overlook or take for granted, thereby soothing our minds.

Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out

John Wooden

Gratitude strengthens us

Nurturing gratitude helps fortify our mental resilience. During challenging times of adversity and emotional upheaval, engaging in gratitude practices acts as a psychological amplifier, preventing us from plummeting to extreme lows.

At some point in life, circumstances may not align with our desires. The sense of control over our lives can often elude us, a sentiment that resonates strongly, particularly in the era of Covid-19.

In the face of this lack of control, it’s natural to allow ourselves to feel disheartened. However, even amidst the darkest moments, there is still much to be grateful for. Gratitude grants us a sense of agency over our thoughts, offering a realm within our control. It doesn’t require positive events to occur; rather, it invites us to alter our perspective on what has transpired. By shifting our attention, we have the power to uplift both our thoughts and our emotions

In times of temporary worry, we often overlook the multitude of things we are fortunate to possess. By consciously directing our focus towards the positive aspects of our lives, we restore equilibrium to our thoughts and feelings. Gratitude serves as a potent tool, enabling us to experience moments of joy even amidst the darkest of times.

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things

Robert Brault

Gratitude guides us back to our present moment

Gratitude possesses the ability to ground us in the present moment. When we direct our attention towards our sensations, we unlock the capacity to appreciate the simple aspects of life: the melodious chirping of birds, the comforting warmth of the sun on our skin, the familiar voice of a loved one, or the tender touch of a partner. By immersing ourselves in these sensations, we can experience profound appreciation.

While some individuals naturally embrace and savor these sweet moments as they unfold throughout the day, many of us need to actively cultivate gratitude. Focusing on our sensations serves as a valuable technique to disentangle ourselves from intrusive thoughts and fully embrace the present moment, appreciating it in its unadulterated form.

There are only two ways to live your life, one is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle

Albert Einstein

Gratitude empowers our relationship

Expressing gratitude for our cherished ones fosters a feeling of belonging and interconnectedness, leading to heightened happiness within our relationships. By identifying elements to be grateful for, we can transcend challenges like anger and irritation, ultimately experiencing greater contentment in our relationships.

Taking it a step further, actively communicating our appreciation to one another holds significant power in fortifying and potentially restoring emotional connections. Articulating what we value about our loved ones acknowledges and validates them, playing a vital role in nurturing relationships.

Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it

Tom Hopkins