The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.
People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.
Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.
There are many studies that have been conducted over the years with very positive findings. Results show those people who wrote about or gave verbal gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation. But most of the studies published on this topic support an association between gratitude and an individual’s well-being. Other studies have looked at how gratitude can improve relationships. For example, a study of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship. Managers who remember to say “thank you” to people who work for them may find that those employees feel motivated to work harder. Children and teens who take time to thank someone who has help them develop show findings that suggests gratitude is an attainment associated with emotional maturity.
Take a moment today to offer gratitude to someone. This will show positive effects on physical health, psychological health, reduce aggression, improve sleep, and increase mental strength. Finding yourself is all part of a Healthy Lifestyle. We can help you here at Doctor for Life using our evidenced based programs. Give us a call today to schedule your first step to a more healthy future. 864-640-0009