There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that gratitude and happiness are connected. Not only have I proved this for myself, but studies done by psychologists and sociologists have shown time and time again that the more grateful we are, the happier our lives are.
Gratitude and happiness also have their roots in scripture as is evidenced by this verse from Paul’s letter to the Philippians 1:3 (NLT) which says, “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.”
That’s great! Isn’t it? 🙂
The really interesting observation made from Paul’s writing is that his first thought for his friends was not ‘what do they want from me now?’ or ‘what do they need me to do?’
It was one of gratitude which also leave me to believe that happiness, when it is derived from a life of gratitude, becomes a strong foundation for healthy, long-lasting relationships.
If you want your marriage to start working out, start giving thanks for your spouse. Think about why you married your mate in the first place.
What qualities you found most appealing in him/her? What caused you to fall in love with that person?
Pause, and think seriously about it for a moment.
Additionally, if you want your relationship with that difficult boss or employee to start working, it’s time you stop focusing on the negative things and what’s wrong with him/her and start giving thanks for the positive things about that individual.
Focus on the great impact that their skills, knowledge and abilities have on the profitability of your organization.
Think about why you hired that employee to begin with and give thanks all the more for that.
Meaning of Gratitude
I have written extensively on gratitude on this blog ever since I made a conscious decision to make gratitude and all things related to it to become a part of my everyday lifestyle.
I am happy to report that the pay-off thus far has been great!
With that aside, gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether it be something tangible or intangible and is derived from the Latin word gratia which means grace, gratefulness or graciousness. It is also synonymous with and encompasses other meanings such as thanks, thankfulness or appreciation, depending on the context in which it is used.
According to Dictionary.com gratitude is the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.
Why Gratitude and Not Just More Wealth?
The question is asked, why gratitude and not just more wealth as it relates to ones happiness? Wouldn’t your life or my life be more flamboyant if in all our days, we focus on just seeing how much more wealth can be accumulated among us to reap the blessing of happiness?
The sad truth is this – money, position, power, having a mansion or real estate properties, a large fleet of vehicles do not bring us lasting joy and happiness. It’s a form of instant gratification for those who can really afford it but certainly not a guarantee of happiness.
Some of the wealthiest people here on earth when they are alone behind closed doors, live a life of misery. Those who are no longer in a position to cope with such misery and who just feel loss or overwhelmed, have turned to alcohol and drugs to mask their pain.
Positive Facts About Gratitude
In acknowledging the goodness in our lives, it is a good time to recognize that the source of that goodness is outside of our own self and must be attributed to a power far higher and greater than that which man can bring into reality in our lives here on earth.
- People continually feel more positive emotions
- Consistently feel better about yourself
- Peace of mind
- Improved health and well-being
- One is better able to cope with adversity and challenges in life
- Helps you to build strong lasting relationships
- Relieves you of stress
- Helps your body to rid itself of harmful toxins
- Improve your sleep patterns
- Improvement in your immune system
- Better grades at school
- Serves as a motivating factor
Helpful reading: Gratitude Attracts Respect
Cultivate Gratitude And Reap A Lifetime of Happiness!
Research has shown that gratitude continue to be a strong, consistent link to greater happiness in one’s life. It is a way of giving thanks for what you already have, instead of always wanting more with the hopes that it will make you happier. Here are some simple, practical ways you can begin to cultivate happiness –
1. Start by counting your blessings – pick a time each day to reflect on the things that you are grateful for. Reflect on what took place in your life and be willing always to see the positive in any negative situations and give thanks for that.
2. Keep a gratitude diary or journal – Write down the things that you received, your experience for that day/week then record and share with loved ones and close friends your thoughts/emotions about it. The added benefit of this is that you are creating a lifetime of happy memories.
3. Be careful not to compare – Do not compare yourself with others and wish that you could have more and do more than they can which can result in stress and cause you to feel inferior instead of inspired. Cultivate gratitude by allowing it to keep you humble, and to remind yourself of how fortunate you are to be where you are in life today and to have what you have acquired to date. Let the people around you who have more become an inspiration to you and for those who have less, you e a blessing to them with some of what you have.
4. Give yourself gentle reminders not to grumble or complain – for every negative as in grumbling, rule it out your life by thinking of a few things that are related for which you are thankful for. A good example of this is when you feel stressed out whether at home or on your job was mentioned earlier on – think about the things you like about the person or the job.
5. Instead of saying thank you, write a thank you note – express enjoyment and appreciation and let the other person know the positive impact that they have on your life. This is a way of nurturing your relationships and making not only you happy, but the other person as well.
6. Pray as well as meditate – Prayer is the duty of every believer. Meditation is also a necessary part of our spiritual duty – it is mindfulness to focus on the present moment while giving thanks unto God for what He has done, for all the many wonderful benefits while thanking Him in hope of what is to come.
Did you enjoy this post? What are some of the others ways that you have cultivated gratitude in your life? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and share it with your social media friends through one of the share buttons below this post.
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