How Expressing Gratitude Can Make You Feel Happier?
23 Nov, 2022
Thanksgiving. A time to reflect, spend time with family and friends, and be thankful for what we have. While we understand that Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude, what does being grateful actually mean? To take this one step further, can gratitude impact our happiness?
First, what is gratitude? The word gratitude comes from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. The act of gratitude is a “thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.” By practicing gratitude, you are drawing attention to what you are thankful for. It could be something as simple as being thankful for a sunny day or more complex like being thankful for a loving family. The commonality between these two things is that you are being thankful for people or forces that are outside of you as an individual.
Positive psychology research believes there is a strong association between gratitude and happiness. According to a study from Harvard Medical School, gratitude helps individuals experience “positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
We live in a world, where we’re always comparing ourselves to others and asking ourselves “why don’t we have this” or “why don’t we look like this”. Whether it’s scrolling through social media and seeing friends on luxurious vacations or being envious of influencers with expensive clothes and bags- we are stuck in a world of always recognizing what we don’t have. Gratitude helps put our lives into perspective and helps us refocus to recognize what we do have in our lives that we are thankful for.
So, how do we start being grateful? What are simple ways we can express gratitude? One of the best ways to experience gratitude is to practice acts of kindness. Here are a few ways we’ve been able to experience the impact of gratitude:
1. Keep a gratitude journal
Every morning when you wake up and have your coffee, write down 5 things you are grateful for. This starts your morning in a state of positivity and reflection.
2. Do something unexpected for someone
We’re all going through a lot these days. Doing little things that might be unexpected (like opening the door for someone), can brighten someone’s day and in turn, have a positive impact on yours.
3. Take time for self-reflection
It’s important to be thankful for who you are. We all can be our worst enemies through our constant self-criticism. Instead of being hard on yourself, take some time to reflect on your accomplishments- whether big or small. Life is hard enough without beating yourself up.
4. Meditate in gratitude
We’ve all heard how good meditation is for the mind. Start creating grateful energy through meditation. In anticipation for Thanksgiving, HERE is one meditation we’ve enjoyed doing.
5. Get into nature
Sometimes just taking a hike outside and being with mother nature can put things into perspective. Give gratitude for the beauty and simplicity of mother earth.
For other ways to express gratitude through acts of kindness, see here.
“Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier.” Harvard Health Publishing, 14 Aug. 2021, www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier. Accessed 23 Nov. 2022.
Baloo does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a replacement for medical advice. Always consult a qualified health or mental health professional with any questions or concerns about your mental health.