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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