Gratitude – Your Own Sunshine

Gratitude is strongly and resolutely associated with higher happiness. When we are grateful for the positive aspects of our lives we are less likely to focus on the areas wherein we may not be living up to our full potential. Gratitude encourages individuals to experience more positive emotions, enjoy good experiences, improve their health, cope with adversity and engage to build strong relationships. Benefits of practicing gratitude are in plenty, some them of them are listed below.

Emotional benefits

Expressing gratitude relieves stress, lessens anxiety, improves sleep, supports heart health. Gratitude helps individuals to regulate their emotions of fear, anger, disgust, guilt, loneliness, helplessness to name a few. Complaining and negative thoughts are mental habits. These habits involve ruminating over worries which get amplified by lamenting in discouraging thoughts. Individuals get stuck in the negativity and experience strong sense of hopelessness. It is helpful to try gratitude instead to break out of the cycle of complaining and negative thoughts. Gratitude can help individuals to control their reaction to negative thoughts. Adopting a daily gratitude practice is helpful. Individuals can improve their mood and there by boost positive emotions. Expressing gratitude helps us to target on positive attitudes which are uplifting. Grieving with gratitude helps individuals overcome remorse, unhappiness or sadness. Experiencing grief is distressing but by considering gratitude, individuals can see memories in positive light. We learn to appreciate what we have. 

Several studies have highlighted adopting gratitude as a daily practice enhances happiness. Research has shown individuals who feel grateful tend to display more positive feelings. Gratitude can help readjust your emotions and elevate your mindset.

Social benefits

Practicing gratitude helps improve relationships within family, with friends and at work. It can help you feel more connected with others.  According to a study, the receiver of gratitude projects “relational growth” with the other person expressing gratitude (Algoe et al., 2013, pp.605-609). It has been observed that the quality of relationships gets enhanced. Individuals within family, friends or colleagues’ bond better and picture others positively. Resolution of possible tricky issues can be initiated using gratitude as a springboard. Gratitude can make us feel more connected. Individuals can maintain strong bonds and help reduce feelings of loneliness. Individuals find it easy to reach out for social support and scale down emotions of disconnectedness. 

Few tips to adopt gratitude in our daily practice

Maintain a gratitude journal. Simply jotting down what you feel thankful for works wonderfully to uplift our spirit. Be in the present to notice and acknowledge joy. Practice kindness. Gratitude is a tool to use to help us to manage our emotions. The goal is to tap into ourselves to find our very own sunshine. 

Written by:
Vrushali Paradkar
SACAC Counselling

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