What are you grateful for?
For some people, the answer to this question comes easy. But if you’re struggling to think of a valid response to such a seemingly simple query, you’re not alone.
Feeling and expressing gratitude is essential to maintaining a healthy life. It’s an act of refusing to take life for granted, but rather appreciating your present situation.
Expressing gratitude through language may come easy, but true gratitude must also be felt. And it’s this expression of feeling rather than words that could be holding back your mental and emotional well-being.
Why Gratitude Is So Difficult for Some People
The idea of gratitude itself means something different to everyone. By definition, gratitude refers to the quality of being thankful. As humans, the uniqueness of each life presents different moments, feelings, people, and things to be thankful for, which make such a seemingly simple question be anything but simple.
Gratitude is especially difficult to navigate for individuals who suffer from depression or harbour intense feelings of anger, resentment, envy, or a general lack of confidence. Feelings of gratefulness are often overshadowed by negative emotions, but that doesn’t mean that gratitude is unattainable.
Research suggests that the ability to feel grateful, along with the intensity to which those feelings are manifested, could be rooted in our genes, brains, and personalities. However, gratitude isn’t a wholly hard-wired feature, which means that there are some actions you can take to make gratitude more prevalent and powerful in your life.
The Benefits of Gratitude
Feeling genuine gratitude isn’t just a personal choice. It’s a matter of health and well-being that can impact other areas of your life.
When you feel and express true acts of gratitude,
You promote the production of happiness in your life.
It strengthens relationships with others.
It energises us.
It motivates us to continue capturing those feelings to generate more positive effects.
It can reduce stress and eliminate sleep issues.
It creates a feeling of peace and satisfaction that is more powerful than any feeling of ill will.
For some people, gratefulness comes naturally. But for many others, gratefulness is a choice. Recognising the value that gratitude can bring to your life is often the first step of being to identify what gratitude looks like and how you can create it.
Finding Gratitude in Daily Life
Reasons for feeling gratitude exist every day. For some people, finding those instances that are most impactful can be a struggle. Oftentimes, individuals become consumed by the reasons other people are grateful that they fail to look within their own lives to find happiness.
Before you can begin to feel and express gratitude, you must first identify what you have to be grateful for.