Why We Need to Express Gratitude

- | 77 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Life & Inspiration

If you are wondering about why we need to express gratitude – you are not alone. Expressing gratitude is essential because we often take for granted all that life offers us, without being grateful.

In this fast forward modern life when people don’t have time for themselves – even their slightest of concern means a lot. If somebody is helpful and kind to us in thought or action, we need to express gratitude or return our thankful feelings.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is a reciprocation of kind feelings; it is an attitude of gratefulness.

An expression of gratitude acknowledges the importance of people, things, events and the difference they make to us. We express our gratitude to convey our warm and friendly feelings.

Expressing gratitude is more than an inner benevolent feeling, which brings a calming effect to all of us. It’s the exchange of good and positive thoughts that develop relations.

When good things happen in our lives or when we are with the one’s we love, and when we are grateful and express our gratitude, the feeling of love and tenderness grows.

Being grateful is more than saying “thank you” and being polite. When we express gratitude, it’s the beginning of being generous, courteous, and showing our concern and appreciation for another.

When we deeply feel and express gratitude, it’s an effective way to positively influence the behavior and attitude – our own and that of others.

Spiritually, we need to be thankful and express gratitude for everything, irrespective of whether it seems good or bad.

We should take nothing for granted or be judgmental about them. The hidden and deeper truth is that everything counts.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Benefits of Expressing Gratitude

Expression of gratitude strengthens bonds, whether they are between family members, children, spouses, or friends.

When we express our gratitude, our family members or friends know that we appreciate things they do, and the efforts they make. It makes us feel that we are truly blessed in so many ways.

Some benefits of gratitude are –

  • It creates a positive feeling and fosters happiness.
  • It strengthens relationships.
  • It brings us peace of mind and makes us feel good.
  • It gives us more energy to do things.
  • It reduces or eliminates stress in some cases.
  • It improves sleep quality.
  • It benefits both the giver and receiver because it increases satisfaction.

 “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie

Some Ways to Express Gratitude

There are so many ways each one of us can express our gratitude for another. Some people do so by sending cards, letters, gifts and flowers, while others do so through their words and actions.

In a deeper spiritual meaning, we need to be thankful and express gratitude even towards things and events that we cannot reciprocate in terms of feelings. The best way is to have a state of mind that is forever thankful.

Some simple and more practical ways of expressing gratitude are–

1. Appreciate what you have

I wonder if you’ve heard these lines before…”if we want more in our life – we need to first appreciate what we have.”

Simply waking up to a bright new day each morning, being grateful for the wonderful food we eat, clothes we wear, drive luxurious cars, or living in lavish bungalows are things to be grateful for.

Or even spending time with our loved ones, our family members, smelling the roses, appreciating nature are a few things we need to be grateful for – isn’t it?

However, often times we begin taking all these things for granted. What does this result in? We stop appreciating one another, stop smelling the roses, or just get lost in our own chores and forget one another.

We often tend to forget all that has been given to us and value what we have, and instead focus on what we don’t have.

Remember, small things matter and we should not lose sight of all the wonderful gifts we are blessed with.

2. Make gratitude a way of life

Most of the time people consider gratitude as a brief interruption in their thought process. They begin expressing gratitude by being grateful for specific things like for their health, relationships, income, success, food and shelter.

Instead, to be grateful, we must carry it permanently with us by making it a way of life. Be grateful for everything life puts forth – just like the gift of life, gift of nature, gift of mind, and so many other things.

When we do this, everything that comes our way will be viewed as a joyous experience. We will learn to make the best of a situation, even if it’s been a bad or negative one.

Once you begin doing the above, you will no longer feel grateful, instead you will be grateful.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

You need to remember to keep things simple and start small. Take 5 things today, then 5 the next day, and carry on till you are into a habit to see things that make you feel grateful daily.

Why do I Need to Express Gratitude

That is because of all of you! I need to thank each one of you for being an integral part of this blog.

It was time I thought to let you all know how much I appreciate your being gracious enough to take out some of your valuable time to visit and show your support to my blog.

I must add that your wonderful and uplifting comments raise the level of conversation and provide more insight to the posts. Thank you to each one of you for sharing your positive energy, feedback, encouragement, and experiences here.

I must mention that your being here is not taken for granted, because I am truly grateful to each and every one of you!

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~ Marcel Proust

This is one of my ways of expressing gratitude to all of you. I take this opportunity once again to thank each one of you and the wonderful readers of this blog, from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my life.

I appreciate all of you.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” ~ Meister Eckhart

Your Turn

Why do you think we need to express gratitude? What other ways of expressing gratitude would you suggest? Share your experiences when you have expressed gratitude with your loved ones, friends, or colleagues in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Brett Jordan

Show Comments

77 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Chery Schmidt

    2013-10-18 at 10:10 am

    Hi Harleena,

    When I noticed your tweet I just had to click over to see what you had to say here. I loved this post! You are so right on target!Gratitude Just simply makes people Happy! The Attitude Of Gratitude!! Thank you so much for sharing.. Chery :))

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-10-18 at 11:04 am

      Hi Chery – nice to have you back 🙂

      Ah…glad you liked the post and could relate to it. Yes indeed, being grateful does bring you inner-happiness. I just wish more people would practice it.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Teresa Cypher

    2013-08-20 at 6:22 am

    Hi, Harleena,

    I just looked in my facebook messages at “other”, and saw a message from you alerting me that you’d posted this blog, and you sent it to me 14 months ago! I apologize for not responding. Oh my! I had to have seen it before since it didn’t show up as a new message. This was a wonderful blog post. We all need a little reminder to live with gratitude as a guide. 🙂 I’m glad you shared the award! Thank you 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-08-20 at 8:50 am

      Hi Teresa,

      Ah…good to see you after a long-long time 🙂

      No worries at all, though I wonder why the message went to the other folder. I had even Tweeted it, but perhaps that too might have gone some place! Oh yes…we all do need to express gratitude and the sooner we realize it the better.

      Thank you for passing on the award to me that I had to pass on to others. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

  3. Linda

    2012-07-27 at 10:59 am

    Thank you for the mention and congrats on being awarded again. I believe you deserve it as you have a very unique blog and are such a sweet lady. I am really blessed to have met you and I can only wish you the best in the future with your goals and dreams.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-08-20 at 9:14 am

      Hi Linda,

      Sorry to have missed your comment, but I’m glad I got to see it now 🙂

      Thank you for the award I should say, and there was no ways of not passing it onto others. It’s been a pleasure to meet you too and I wish we catch up again, though I know our lives are busy but the feelings remain, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

      • Linda

        2013-08-20 at 10:27 am

        Hey Harleena,

        I almost did not read the reply thinking that it was old news, but glad I read it 🙂

        Boy that was a long time ago – I started back up blogging again, but missed my mark last week and not sure I will get back this week – super busy with gardening and then our local fair events.

        Anyway – I miss chatting with you, but I will be back soon!

        Hope all is well, talk to you soon!

        • Harleena Singh

          2013-08-20 at 10:37 am

          I can understand and sorry for that…the comment just seemed to have slipped by 🙂

          Yes, one remains rather busy with work or then other chores that catch up in life and blogging does take a back seat, something I go through too off and on. Local fair must be interesting indeed! I know and I miss out chats too, catch up with you soon too. 🙂

          Thanks once again 🙂

  4. Chadrack

    2012-07-05 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    It’s really a great thing to read these great words again! Talking about gratitude, there is nothing you can give to reciprocate a good gesture than showing gratitude. It is the greatest thing you can give and though it costs you nothing, will pay you with great rewards.

    I’ll never forget when at the close of last year I made a post expressing my gratitude to all that commented on my blog. The acceptance it received astounded me and the joy that brought me knew no bounds!

    It think we just have to learn how to show more gratitude in both our professional and private lives.

    Btw. must say thank you for your #ff that has always come without fail. I’m grateful for the mention!

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-08-20 at 9:06 am

      Hi Chadrack,

      Extremely sorry for having missed this comment, but glad I’m here now 🙂

      I totally agree with you there. Expressing gratitude can be done in so many ways, and this is exactly what I keep teaching my children too, though it takes time with kids and certain things only come with age, isn’t it?

      Yes indeed, the joy in giving is something you need to experience for yourself, and like you, I find immense pleasure if I can give something to someone, in someway. Ah…I’ve nearly given up on the #FF now because it was getting tough to mention everyone who I follow literally…and I didn’t want to leave out anyone either. It’s surely been long, but nice that we met here again.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  5. Diana Pinto

    2012-07-05 at 2:17 pm

    Dear Harleena,

    I loved your post on gratitute.It’s really important to be grateful for all the good things in our lives.Your post was very meaningful and it has inspired me,as I am new to blogging.Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post.

    Thanks ,

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-08-20 at 8:52 am

      Welcome to the blog Diana!

      I am sorry, I think this comment seems to have slipped by, though I’m glad I saw it now 🙂

      Absolutely! Expressing gratitude is the least we can do for all the big and small things that have come in our life. Nice to know that this post inspired you, and perhaps now you are no longer new to blogging too!

      Thanks for stopping by, do visit again 🙂

  6. Janet Callaway

    2012-07-05 at 8:57 am

    Harleena, aloha. What a fabulous post!

    Having an Attitude of Gratitude is, in my opinion, one of the very best ways to be. Speaking of which, thank you so much for including me in your awards. Since I have been absent more often than not these past several months, I truly appreciate your remembering me.

    The quote you began with by William Ward is one of my favorites and expresses it so well. If a person does not express gratitude, then much is lost.

    Each morning upon awakening, I do express my gratitude for having another day to enjoy. Each night before I go to bed I write in my Gratitude Journal things that happened during the day for which I am grateful. While sometimes there are HUGE things that happen for which I am grateful, I find that more often my gratefulness is for the beauty of a flower or rainbow, a kind word, a special message or a glorious day.

    A friend of mine takes a picture each day of something that she is grateful to have in her life. She has pictures of flowers, meals, people, animals and a vast array items.

    Harleena, in addition to my Gratitude Journal, I also keep a Sunshine File. In that I keep any nice notes or e-mails that I receive. Not only am I grateful when I first read them, I am grateful anew each and every time I read them.

    When I express gratitude I feel better. The more grateful I am for what’s in my life as well as what I anticipate coming, the better I feel.

    The online world gives me many reasons to be grateful. The very best reason is because I meet and get to know people like you who enrich and enhance my life. Harleena, I am grateful for all you do with your wisdom, compassion and support. Warmest aloha, Janet

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-07-05 at 10:38 am

      Aloha Janet! Thanks and nice to see you 🙂

      You are most welcome and so very deserving of the award. I can never forget you, whether you are absent or present Janet for the wonderful person you are. Yes indeed, that quote touches my heart too.

      I had just about read and written about maintaining a Gratitude Journal, but you are the first person I know who really maintains one – that’s wonderful indeed. There is so much we can really be grateful for, right from the biggest to the smallest of things just as you mentioned. But making note of them and truly expressing our gratitude is something worthwhile.

      Taking pictures is another wonderful day, and am sure your friend must be having a huge collection of all the beauty life has to offer. Wow! I love the name “Sunshine File” – (it instantly brightened up my face and brought an instant smile). I guess that must be so very precious to you as you can read them whenever you want to.

      Yes indeed, when we are able to express gratitude or do something good for someone or even towards things, we feel better and nicer for having done something good. It gives us immense satisfaction within.

      Thanks so much for those warm and kind words, and it’s likewise too. Having known wonderful friends online has indeed been an enriching experience for me, so much so that I hardly miss having offline ones now.

      I am indeed grateful and blessed to have friends like you who are a part of the blog and me. I appreciate you and your presence in my life a great deal. 🙂

  7. Samantha Bangayan

    2012-07-04 at 10:09 am

    Boy am I feeling gratitude in bucket loads right now! =) Thank you, thank you, thank you for including me and remembering me, Harleena! =)

    I’ve been so out of it in terms of blogging these months, which is why I especially appreciate your warm gesture in this blog post. You’ve set the perfect example for the importance of gratitude and the positivity that exudes from feeling and receiving gratitude. This is why I so admire you as a blogger and as a person! The warmest thanks again!!

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-07-04 at 10:30 am

      Nice to see you Samantha!

      You are most welcome and so very deserving of the award, and I never forgot you to remember you again. 🙂

      I can well imagine why the break in your blogging nowadays, but that’s so obvious with your recent marriage. I’m sure you’d be back on track after sometime and till then enjoy the time with your loved one as the time once lost never returns.

      Thanks so much for your warm and kind words. I appreciate you a great deal for just being the wonderful person you are, and for being a part of the blog and me too. 🙂

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Why We Need to Express Gratitude

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