24th September, 2022
We all want a happy life…
A cushy job, a perfect family, financial stability, and a great social life!
And in this indefinite pursuit of happiness that is mostly like a mirage, how often do we spare a minute to thank what we already have at this very moment?
Gratitude is a powerful human emotion. By conveying and receiving simple ‘thank you’ messages, we can truly derive the pleasure that we seek everywhere else. Gratitude, derived from the Latin word ‘gratia,’ means gratefulness or thankfulness.
In its simplest form, gratitude refers to a ‘state of thankfulness’ or a ‘state of being grateful’.
In the book ‘Grateful Brain,’ author Alex Korb (2012) said that our brain is conditioned to function in a repeated way. For example, a person who worries too much about the adverse outcomes will subconsciously re-wire his brain to process negative information only. Korb has mentioned that our mind cannot focus on positive and negative information at the same time.
By consciously practicing gratitude, we can train the brain to attend selectively to positive emotions and thoughts, thus reducing anxiety and feelings of apprehension.
Simple practices like maintaining a gratitude journal, complimenting the self, or sending small tokens and thank you notes can make us feel a lot better and enhance our mood immediately. Couple studies have also indicated that partners who expressed their thankfulness to each other often, could sustain their relationships with mutual trust, loyalty, and had long-lasting happy relationships.
Another great way to promote gratitude which I practise personally is to have a gratitude jar wherein you keep a glass jar or a transparent box and some small pieces of paper beside it. Take up one paper everyday and write about one thing that you are grateful for today. It may be your family, good health, loving friends, your home, or yourself for enduring so much – anything that made you feel blessed that day. As the jar gets filled up, you will naturally feel more gifted and hopeful.
When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside.
Be grateful, be happy & stay blessed forever.