Expressing Gratitude

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”– Cicero

Are we as humans ever satisfied with what we receive and have in life?

The most honest answer is not at all.

Expressing gratitude, even out of obligation, helps us clearly see the abundance of love, comfort, and freedom that surround us. Research shows that people who regularly express gratitude are happier and healthier than their counterparts, regardless of measurable wealth. Gratitude is one discipline that can be challenging to instill.

Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California Davis from his research found that having an ‘attitude of gratitude’ improves emotional and physical health as well as strengthens relationships. In a study once conducted by this same Doctor with young adults who practice daily gratitude exercises, those who partook reported higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to the control group, who were either told to focus on downward social comparisons or that they were better off than others.

The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking the time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for tend to have a relaxed mind, a boosted career, increased goal achievement, improved decision making, increased productivity, they experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.

Gratitude doesn’t need to be reserved only for momentous occasions: Sure, you might express gratitude after receiving a promotion at work, but you can also be thankful for something as simple as a delicious piece of pie.

To think that these findings are enough to motivate an ingrate into action is an overstatement as the motivation last for about three days and fades away as circumstances around come into play.

To start the art of gratitude and maintain it for a long time, you have to consciously notice new things to be grateful for every day as you are an expression of what plays on your mind, you are what you think; you cannot have a positive life and a negative mind, you have to look for the good in the bad, the happy in your sad, the gain in your pain and most of all, what makes you grateful not hateful and this being the case, take time each day to pause, reflect and be grateful.

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