What Exactly Is Gratitude?
Gratitude is derived from the Latin word ‘gratia’ meaning graciousness or gratefulness.
It’s a feeling of thankfulness, appreciating life’s simple pleasures and actively acknowledging all good that flows into your life.
Being grateful requires you to see life through a more focused camera lens. It involves perceiving everything that is around you as if it was a true blessing.
Instead of focusing on what is lacking in life, you can learn to be truly thankful for all of the small things that most of us take for granted.
Finding pleasure in the smallest of things can bring endless joy to your day. And, showing gratitude towards those around you, is like gifting someone else a joyous day.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it”
– William Arthur Ward
Gratitude Brings Happiness Into Our Lives
It’s been found that practicing gratitude can increase happiness levels by up to 25%.
Yes, twenty-five percent!
In Dr. Robert Emmons’ book ‘Thanks!’, he also found that participants were more optimistic, felt better about their lives, and on average completed around 1.5 hours more exercise per week.
It turns out that people’s levels of happiness are remarkably stable over time. Surprisingly, whether you win the lottery or become paralysed from the neck down, Dr. Emmon found that after 3-6 months, your happiness levels can return to the same level they were at before the event happened.
In basic terms, we all have a pre-set level of happiness.
This level can drop or increase throughout the day, but it eventually returns to the same set level we always have.
YET, findings suggest that by showing gratitude each day you can sustainably increase your levels of happiness by 25%! That means your pre-set level of happiness will be consistently higher.
Daily Gratitude Can Boost Your Well-Being
Daily gratitude can involve simply making a list of the things you are grateful for at the end of each day.
One experiment involving several hundred people encouraged 3 groups to keep a daily diary:
– Group one were encouraged to write about anything that happened each day
– Group two to write about unpleasant experiences and
– Group three to make a list of the things that they were grateful for
The results were profound!
Simply recording what each participant was grateful for each day, resulted in:
– Higher levels of energy
– Increased optimism
– Greater alertness
– More enthusiasm and determination
– Less likely to be stressed
– Less likely to experience depression
– More likely to help others
– More likely to achieve their own goals!
So, what more motivation do you need?
We already have the key to happiness!
Let’s use it.
We’ve tried keeping a daily gratitude diary ourselves and can honestly say we’ve experienced the same benefits!
To help give you motivation, we’ve created a daily gratitude diary that you can download!
All you need to do is fill in the gaps and reflect on your daily gratefulness!
If you aren’t sure what kind of things to write, here are five examples from the study:
– Waking up this morning
– Sunset through the clouds
– The chance to be alive
– The generosity of friends
– Great parents
And… here are some more we found ourselves being thankful for:
– Everyday commodities that we take for granted: such as food and water.
– The wildlife that surrounds us, listen out for birds singing.
– The nature that surrounds us, the trees, fields and wild flowers.
– Our developed infrastructure which enables us to travel
– Discovering mindfulness
Ultimately, what you are grateful for will be truly unique to you. It really can be anything.
Embrace gratitude and incorporate it into your everyday life.
Take the first step and print off a copy of our free gratitude template. One A4 page which helps you record what you are grateful for each day.
You only need to invest a few minutes each evening to strive towards increasing your levels of happiness!
Who said that you need to win the lottery to be happy?
Get started now – download your free daily gratitude planner below.