For BBA Student Ambassador, Hemangi Grover, the act of expressing gratitude has been life-changing. Here, she shares her take on what gratitude is and why it’s important, as well as discussing the impact it has had on her world and revealing 5 tips to help you introduce a little thankfulness into your daily life.
What is Gratitude and why is it important?
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
We have all heard the word gratitude, but what does it actually mean? Positive psychology defines gratitude as more than feeling thankful, it is a deeper appreciation for someone or something that produces longer lasting positivity. In other words, Gratitude means the spirit and state of being grateful by counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures and being thankful for all that you have currently.
Personally, I understood the concept of gratitude and started expressing it after I attended a virtual workshop called ‘Gratitude Nights.’ After attending the session, I understood the importance of gratitude and how it has positively impacted my life. The sole factor that makes expression of gratitude so important in our lives is heightening the quality of life. For instance, we easily take what we have for granted in our daily life and still keep wanting more. However, if we pause and be grateful by just acknowledging all that we have, it automatically helps in instant positivity and happiness.
The personal impact of gratitude
By expressing gratitude, it helps in feeling good about yourself and your surroundings, which results in a good quality of life. Gratitude impacts us in three ways: psychologically, physically and socially. Psychologically, gratitude helps in experiencing higher levels of positive emotions. It also makes you feel more alive and alert, making you feel more joy, pleasure and optimism. Physically, one will have stronger immune systems, fulfilling sleep and less fatigue overall. And socially, gratitude helps in feeling less lonely and more outgoing, forgiving and compassionate.
5 ways to introduce gratitude into your life
It’s never too late to start expressing gratitude, here are 5 simple ways to do it:
1. Take a gratitude walk
A gratitude walk is one way where you can gather positive energies and feel grateful for all that you have, such as family, friends, food, etc. For me, I prefer walking on the roadside with the mountains as my view. While walking, notice all the thoughts that come to your mind, for instance I think about the music I am listening to or the special people in my life I am grateful for. This automatically makes me feel good about myself because I am able to express gratitude.
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2. Start a gratitude journal
Whether it’s on your phone or in an actual journal just like mine, writing down what you’re grateful for helps you focus on the good things of your day, even if you are having the worst day ever. For example, I journal 5 things I am grateful for at night, even if it’s the smallest things like having my favourite chocolate or feeling motivated for my day. Journaling helps me be grateful and shifts my focus onto the positive aspects about my day.
3. Write a thank you note
Think of the people who have made you happy and who you are truly grateful for, like your best friend or your mother. Write a thank you note dedicated to them, expressing your thankfulness for all that they have done for you. This is a good way for you to connect to this powerful positive practice, moreover it will make the receiver’s day and in turn, you would feel elated too!
4. Start using your words wisely
We have all heard that the power and play of words is extremely important. Often, when we are late and if someone is waiting for us, we say I am sorry I am late. (yourolddog.com) Instead, try saying I am grateful for your patience and thank you for waiting for me. Instantly, it will put a smile on the other person’s face and you won’t even feel bad for being late!
5. Read books based on gratitude
Reading books is always a fun idea! Some of the books based on gratitude that are highly recommended are The Psychology of Gratitude by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life by John Kralik, and Gratitude by Oliver Sacks. So, grab your copy of each now to delve into the wonderful world of gratitude!
Start small and feel a big change
While some of the aforementioned ways of expressing gratitude may seem too much, I promise that if you start with one, it’ll be bound to become your habit and part of your lifestyle. Expressing gratitude changed my perspectives and continues to positively impact my life. I hope it will help you too!