As the year is finally coming to a close, many people are looking forward to the new year: after all, it is a brand new start, a new clean slate that everybody is in need of. However, what most of us seem to forget is the importance of reflecting and looking back to the year that has been. While a few would take note of their mistakes, regrets, and things to improve at, it is also essential to evaluate and list down the things you should be thankful for.
It may be a promotion or a brand new job, or a new home, new car, or additional property. Some may even be thankful just for good health and the company of their loved ones and family. Regardless of reason, it is very important to take time and reflect on the things that you’re thankful for in life.
But why should we limit it to just a few weeks in the year? After all, gratitude is a muscle we should strengthen year-round to make us healthier, happier humans. In fact, being thankful is a trait and habit that when practiced in your daily life, can make all the difference on how you see life and how you live life—and science can back it up.
From a scientific perspective, gratitude is an emotion that can result in long-lasting positivity. It may even eliminate half or your stress away. According to Robert Emmons, a leading researcher, gratitude has two key stages: acknowledging the goodness in life, and recognizing who to thank for it.
People differ in feeling and expressing gratitude. Some may say ‘thank you’ a lot, while others may steer away from the verbal expression and keep a journal instead, listing down the things they are grateful for in a day. Experts say that keeping a gratitude journal is a healthy practice for your mind and soul. It is a good exercise which serves many purposes, including encouraging calm, lowering stress levels and giving new perspectives.
Gratitude makes you empathetic.
There’s no contest to it: gratitude is a selfless act. When you take time and make it a priority to give thanks to the people around you, you start to appreciate even the simplest things and acts made to you by the people around you. In fact, it may even lead you to realizing and recognizing what you have that others don’t.
Having empathy is very important, especially now when most people tend to forget and take for granted the simple joys they have in life. Many fail to see how much they are blessed with having a roof, having food to eat, being surrounded by family, and being happy, in a time when almost everything seems to be a competition.
Gratitude is good for your health.
According to one research, grateful people reported feeling healthier, both mentally and physically. Specifically, those who were grateful were 25% happier than those who weren’t. And this is a very important thing to practice in the workplace.
Many studies have found and linked how the employees’ wellbeing and feelings affect their productivity and motivation. Researches show that employees who are shown that they are appreciated are more productive by 50%, caring for your employees’ well-being is simply the right thing to do.
Gratitude helps you become more self-aware.
Gratitude challenges you to reflect in the moment instead of always thinking about the future, which is a very important habit to practice in a very fast-paced world. When you feel and practice gratitude, you pay attention to the small details, on what’s going on in your life. Self-awareness is a key ingredient to being successful in your career.
Gratitude keeps relationships strong.
One of the most important and core foundations of a relationship is being thankful. Practicing gratitude on the daily helps you strengthen personal and professional relationships. A study found that people who are more expressive of their gratitude towards others also tend to be more forgiving and understanding, helping them preserve their connections and relationship.
Always remember that thanking someone or expressing gratitude will not take anything from you but will help others gain something—be it a sense of pride in what they do, happiness, or even a pat in their back that they are doing something good.
At the same time, being grateful helps your personality and own wellbeing. Rather than complaining over the things you can’t control, change, and get, why not just think about the things you have enough of—family, friends, and basic needs. Keep in mind that when you are thankful, content and happy for the countless blessings that you do have, that’s how life will be for you- content and happy.