In a world that constantly teaches us to believe that we must perpetually strive for more, the divine virtue of gratitude has taken a serious backseat.
Somewhere between our strictly materialistic goals and the backbreaking journey towards achieving superficial benchmarks of success, we forget that there is plenty we already have to be thankful for, things that actually enrich and nourish our lives.
Unfortunately, the commercial perception of thankfulness links this otherwise glorious behavioral quality with depravities like indebtedness, laziness, people-pleasing attitude, etc.
The truth is, practicing gratitude every day can actually shower you with mental, physical, and psycho–spiritual fulfillment that can have a direct positive impact on your life.
Here are 5 such powerful reasons that will reopen your eyes to why gratitude is so important in your life.
Gratitude invokes genuine happiness
Gratitude propels you to notice and be grateful for ‘what you already have’ than what is missing in your life. When you are grateful and count your blessings, what you already have will seem more than enough. Be it in terms of materialistic things or personal life, you will feel emancipated from oppressive feelings like envy, competition, inadequacy, anxiety, and dismay on failing to meet unreal standards.
With these intangible burdens eradicated from your being, you will experience genuine happiness that actually lasts through good times and bad.
Gratitude strengthens relationships
Appreciating the presence of another person in your life often fades with time. Be it our spouses/partners, parents, relatives, friends, colleagues, or teachers, how often do we take some time out to thank them and appreciate their efforts to enrich our lives?
This often makes the latter feel less worthy, leading to a gradual withdrawal from the relationship till it no longer bears any weight. At the end of the day, we lose people that could have been pillars of strength and support.
Consciously practicing gratitude, on the other hand, makes people in our lives feel valued. Therefore there is a more significant effort on their part to strengthen the relationship than walk away from it.
Gratitude makes you more productive at work
It is a proven fact that people with gratitude as their primary behavioral trait make better employees/workers and more effective managers. This is because, when you are grateful, you tend to appreciate the inputs and contribution of your team regularly than dousing them in toxic criticism.
This directly motivates them to perform better. Your positive means of interaction with your subordinates and bosses maximizes productivity at work, giving you an edge in promotions.
Gratitude is a powerful health booster
Gratitude is a natural stress buster. With enhanced levels of happiness, it generates very positive feelings in people, like a sense of contentment, fulfillment, motivation, relaxation, and overall optimism as far as perceiving everyday events is concerned.
Research has also shown that people who consciously practice gratitude have heightened energy levels and are likely to exercise more than those who do not.
Therefore, common yet serious health issues like blood pressure/blood sugar problems, obesity, anxiety, depression, etc., always remain at an arms-length.
Gratitude makes you spiritual
When you are grateful for what you have; when you show your appreciation towards people that contribute to your life; when you are not motivated by pure materialistic gains; when your sense of contentment does not get affected by situational turbulence. You feel a sense of divine fulfillment that separates you from those in the rat race.
This is the beginning of true spirituality, and it always starts with gratitude.
The Bottom Line
Gratitude is one of the many behavioral traits that may not arise naturally but need to be practiced. If you want to start with your tryst with practicing gratitude, you should start maintaining a journal to keep track of your progress.