Key points- Gratitude can boost happiness and strengthen relationships. gratitude should be a long-term practice and not short term. When expressing gratitude to others, it’s best to focus on the strengths and actions of the giver, not just the benefits to oneself.
Of all the positive emotions, gratitude appears to be one of the most important for our overall well-being. Gratitude helps us focus on what we have, rather than lack. It turns our attention to the good, rather than dwelling on our many gripes in life.
Researchers have found that gratitude is foundational for healthy relationships. It’s the emotional glue that strengthens bonds. In many relationships that fall apart, one or both individuals do not feel any type of gratitude from their partner. Instead, they often feel taken for granted.
We all naturally want to feel appreciated by our partners, friends, family, and colleagues. Gratitude is a great way for individuals to feel and express their appreciation to one another.
How to Practice Gratitude today and Every day-
Gratitude is a skill: While some of us appear to be naturally grateful, seeing the blessings bestowed upon us, many of us are not. The good news is that gratitude is a skill we can learn and practice. Like a muscle, it gets stronger the more we use it. Start noticing the good in life today. You can start small by being thankful for the sunshine, a hot cup of coffee, and a warm shower. After a while, gratitude can become a regular habit whereby we train our minds to focus on the many gifts in life.
It’s not enough to simply feel grateful, we must express it as well: Our spouses, families and friends aren’t mind readers, do not assume that they know we are grateful for them. Make it a habit to tell them on a regular basis. Gratitude is like compound interest. The more we express it the stronger our connections become. It has been found to be a booster shot for our relationships.
It’s not just if you express gratitude but how you do it matters: When expressing gratitude to others, be sure to focus on the strengths and actions of the giver, not just the gifts and benefits to yourself.
Teaching our kids gratitude is essential: Teaching our kids how to feel and express gratitude is fundamental to their well-being and development. Kids, like many adults, don’t naturally feel grateful. By helping them to cultivate a practice of gratitude, they will be more able to focus on the good in life and others, something we all naturally want for our children.