I’m grateful for the storm
Made me appreciate the sun
I’m grateful for the wrong ones
Made me appreciate the right ones
I’m grateful for the pain
For everything that made me break
I’m thankful for all my scars
‘Cause they only make my heart
– Rita Ora, Grateful
Do you consider yourself a grateful person?
Have you heard of this song? Do you have a habit of thanking seemingly ordinary and everyday situations in an equally ordinary and everyday day? Thank the tram driver who opened the door for you. Thank your partner for getting up before you and making coffee. Thank the boss for leaving work earlier on Friday. Thank your colleague for being able to get the job done faster with his help.
Gratitude is a pleasant feeling or attitude in response to the benefit shown, i.e. it occurs when we receive help that we consider valuable. Gratitude is felt after a well-done deed towards us, for example, gratitude for attention or service. Pleasant emotions, like gratitude, expand the way of thinking and build lasting personal resources. These resources serve as reserves needed for difficult times. Gratitude is effective in increasing well-being because it builds psychological, social, and spiritual resources. Grateful individuals seem to creatively consider a wide range of prosocial actions as a possible reflection of their gratitude. One example is the Maori, natives of New Zealand, who reciprocate the gifts by bringing a part of themselves into the gift to make the gift more intimate and special, specific to the person who will receive it.
Why is it good to be grateful?
Gratitude is an ally of patience, it tends to focus on the “now and here”. In addition, gratitude has a positive impact on mental and emotional state as well as physical health (Yoshimura & Berzins, 2017).
Gratitude is also the root of happiness. It’s hard to feel grateful and unhappy because it’s more likely that when you focus on gratitude, you’ll feel joy. In addition, when you are more grateful, you tend to focus on the present – appreciate it right now – and this can reduce feelings of longing or anxiety for the future. In fact, what you are grateful for today may be something you hoped for yesterday. By focusing on everything you have, you experience these elements of your life greater. So gratitude gives a feeling of fullness – that what you have is enough, and that is related to pleasure.
Gratitude does not lead to the behavior “as you to me, so I to you”. Instead, grateful people act creatively while formulating actions that promote the well-being of other people. Although grateful individuals tend to behave prosocially simply to express their gratitude, over time, gratitude-inspired actions build and strengthen social bonds and friendships (Emmons & McCullough, 2004). Expressing gratitude tends to spread a positive mood. You feel good about something, and your appreciation makes someone else feel good, which contributes to the emotional economy – giving and taking a feeling that encourages positive beliefs, habits and behaviors of the whole group.
How to include gratitude in your daily routine?
- Keep a thanksgiving diary. Try to keep a thanksgiving calendar; write down one thing you are grateful for each day, and when the new year begins, go back to the beginning of your calendar and add new entries for each day. Over time, you will create a layered timeline for your daily thanksgiving practice. The NAOMI app can help you with notes by recording these moments of gratitude in the Thanksgiving Diary.
- Express gratitude. Gratitude is both an individual and a team sport. When you share what you are grateful for in a team environment, it has even more power. Thank a colleague during a meeting or give positive feedback to a colleague after a successful project.
- Look for opportunities to thank the real people in your life. These don’t necessarily have to be people you know well. Say thank you to the people who serve you, the people who often fit into the background of your day. Thank your Uber driver, the barista who makes you coffee, the people who keep the door open for you …
Gratitude is a powerful positive force. Far from a fluffy or frivolous concept, it has a real impact on physical health, emotional well-being, motivation, engagement and belonging. Therefore, we encourage you to try to include gratitude in your day and in that way be a positive example to others.
Yoshimura, S.M. & Berzins, K. (2017). Grateful experiences and expressions: the role of gratitude expressions in the link between gratitude experiences and well-being, Review of Communication, 17(2), 106-118, DOI: 10.1080/15358593.2017.1293836