Gratitude is necessary for living a conscious and contented life. The majority of us learn by trial and error. The mind, which is constantly focused on getting more and more, overlooks what it already possesses. The greedy individual is constantly aware of his or her deficiency. However, the mind that turns this energy inward has a unique and extraordinary experience. Gratitude is the polar opposite of greed in this regard. We become happy people when we admire the people around us, our safety, health, and simple pleasures. We find delight when we respect life and the mundane chores of daily living. We miss out on life and generate waste, sorrow, and frustration when we are constantly thirsting for the future. Gratitude, in its most basic form, demonstrates that the grass beneath your feet is greener than you imagine. It encourages you to see things from the perspective of a half-full cup rather than a half-empty cup. It instils in you the belief that happiness is always present. Gratitude is more of a state of mind than a physical activity. Mentally and emotionally, you practice it. It's when you take a step back and think about what you can be grateful for right now. When you begin to feel appreciative, most of your anxieties go away, and your fears lose their hold on you. As a result, everything changes.
What is gratitude?
Gratitude is a natural emotion, but research is increasingly demonstrating its worth as a practice—that is, making deliberate attempts to acknowledge one's benefits. People can intentionally nurture appreciation, according to studies, and there are significant social and personal benefits to doing so. It is possible to be grateful for family, friends, coworkers, animals, nature, and life in general. The feeling creates a positive atmosphere that stretches both inner and outside.
Many of us express our thanks by thanking someone who has assisted us or given us a present. Gratitude, on the other hand, is not merely an activity from a scientific standpoint: it is also a pleasant emotion with biological implications.
More information is available from Harvard Medical School, which writes that gratitude is: “an expression of gratitude for what one receives, whether material or intangible.” People express thanks for the positive things in their lives... As a result, thankfulness allows people to connect to something bigger than themselves–whether it's other people, nature, or a greater force.
Why Is Gratitude Valuable?
Gratitude increases happiness and promotes physical and psychological health over time, especially in people who are currently dealing with mental health issues. According to evidence, exercising gratitude reduces the use of words that communicate negative emotions and changes inner focus away from unpleasant feelings like resentment and jealousy, reducing the risk of ruminating, which is a symptom of sadness.
Gratitude has been proved to have far-reaching consequences on our health by a large body of scientific research. People's physical health reflects their gratitude and acceptance of things as they are. They're more inclined to exercise, eat healthier, and take better care of themselves. Being appreciative has been linked to lower stress, reduced discomfort, and enhanced immune systems by researchers throughout the years. Gratitude has been linked to lower blood pressure and good effects on the heart. Gratitude also has a significant positive effect on psychological well-being. It raises our self-esteem, makes us feel good, and makes us optimistic. Our bodies produce a plethora of great compounds when we experience deep happiness. Keller goes into detail on how beneficial it is to our bodies.
Gratitude's Benefits during COVID-19:
Positive emotions like thankfulness, according to research, are directly linked to health and wellness. Positive emotions not only boost happiness, but they also build a positive cycle in your life. Gratitude and humor, for example, can help you manage with worry and uncertainty by concentrating your mind on the things you value in life, as well as what you can control and give back to others. Cultivating a grateful attitude can also help you create resilience, which can help you cope with present troubles or problems and provide a method to move forward despite the difficulties you confront. There is also some evidence that expressing thankfulness during a crisis like COVID-19 is not only beneficial to your psychological well-being, but also to your physical health in the face of ailments like respiratory infections. Furthermore, reducing your anxiety about COVID-19 may actually enhance your prognosis if you contract it.
How to Make Gratitude a Habit:
1. Tell someone you care about them -
Giving someone a thumbs up in a Zoom meeting or a simple word during a phone call not only boosts your happiness, but it also improves their mood. Make sure you're generous with your thanks, and you'll notice a difference in not only your own thinking, but also the mindsets of people around you.
2. Begin keeping a gratitude journal –
Keeping track of the things you're grateful for, whether in an online gratitude diary, an old notebook, or a customized gratitude journal, has been proven to promote wellness. A study of healthcare employees who kept track of three nice things that happened to them each day found that they had a better work-life balance, less depressive symptoms, and less burnout.
3. Reframe Negative Experiences from the Past –
Consider the worst times in your life. Compare and contrast your previous experiences with where you are currently. Consider not only how you dealt with the situation, but also what you learned from it. Negative events no longer have free rent in your thoughts when you locate the positive in them. You've converted them into something positive that has ultimately benefited you.
4. Examine Your Life for Patterns –
You may notice a pattern as you begin to reflect on the things for which you are grateful. This information might assist you in organizing your days so that you get the most out of them. If you're regularly grateful for anything in nature, for example, being outside may be just what you need to lift your spirits. If you routinely express thanks for time spent playing games with your family, you already know that prioritizing family time brings you delight and enhances your gratitude.
There's no denying that surviving a pandemic is difficult. But keep in mind that things will get back to normal—even if it's a different type of normal. In the meantime, try to see the bright side of things at this trying time—it'll be good for your mental and physical health. Furthermore, cultivating appreciation can aid in problem-solving, creativity, resilience, and immune system strengthening. So, make sure you're taking a moment to reflect on what you're grateful for right now. This can assist you cope with COVID-19 while also improving your mood.