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The Power Of Being Grateful, How Gratitude Can Change Your World

Written by: Veronica Sanchez De Darivas, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

The word gratitude comes from the Latin “gratus” and it means pleasing, welcome, agreeable. Gratitude describes a feeling of appreciation that comes in response to receiving love, kindness and joy.

Gratitude is a fundamental ingredient to happiness and science has discovered that expressing gratitude has a number of benefits for mental and physical health.


Normally, we see gratitude as the act of saying thank you to others when they give us something, in this sense being grateful is associated with our outer self. However, gratitude is not only a one way act, on the contrary, it is circular, a whole way of feeling as the benefits of being grateful, expressing it and receiving back from others go both ways, to the person who is expressing gratitude and to the person who is receiving it. And it is here where our inner self comes into play.


Let’s see here how gratitude is a high-vibration feeling, a whole, a unity. We already know that gratitude is a feeling of appreciation for the blessings of our lives and it can be directed towards other people, towards life in general or towards our own self. But, how?


Gratitude and Happiness


Studies have shown that gratitude can make us happier beacuse it allows us to focus on the good things in our lives and to be more positive. When we make the conscious effort of feeling thankful for the gains in our lives, we are able to realise how fortunate we are and the feelings of happiness, love and positivity take over.


Gratitude and happiness are linked because positive emotions arise when feeling grateful. When we feel gratitude, we experience joy, inspiration, admiration and a myriad of beneficial emotions.


Now, feeling grateful for only the positive things in our lives is our tendency, however, I encourage you to be thankful for those events that are not so good as well, beacuse you have learned from them, you have created resilience from them, you have learned to love yourself and others from them.


Science says that gratitude can help with coping with hard and negative situations beacuse we are able to see beyond them and move on. In my own experience, feeling grateful has increased my levels of happiness and joy significantly beacuse it has given me perspective, I have been able to appreciate more and self-pity less.


Gratitude and Wellbeing


Gratitude has been connected with healthy blood pressure, with enhancing the immune system, and with improving the quality of sleep. People who are thankful have a tendency of taking care of their physical body and health over all much more than others.


Two well known psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have conducted extensive research on gratitude. In one study, they asked several groups of people to write a few sentences every week about different topics, one of the groups focused on writing about the events or situations they were grateful for that week. After 10 weeks this particular group reported not only to be more optimistic and happier, but they also exercised more and had fewer visits to doctors or physicians than the other groups.


Gratitude has also been linked to better mental health, diminishing depression and anxiety. The Virginia Commonwealth University conducted a large study which showed that being grateful pointed to a lower risk of depression, anxiety disorder, phobias and even alcohol and drug abuse.


Overall, gratitude assists in shifting our attention from negativity to positivity, which unleashes in us all the benefits of being thankful. Gratitude, in short, changes the brain. Gratitude has given me better mental health for sure and my resilience levels have increased with my daily practice.


Gratitude and Relationships


Gratitude strengthens our relationships, because we are able to put things into perspective, we can see the positive in people and enhance our capacity for forgiveness, including self-forgiveness, which is key here. With this panoramic view we are able to build stronger love relationships and friendships, because we can make better decisions of what is good for us and for the people around us. Gratitude really helps us to see beyond judgment and preconceptions.


Gratitude allows us to get new friends, because being thankful makes us to be compassionate, offer support to others and be more generous, then, in this sense others can feel this energy in us and appreciate us for these qualities.


In my experience, gratitude has made me less judgmental, more inclusive and has added a whole new dimension to my compassionate heart.


Gratitude and Work


Expressing gratitude makes the way for us to be successful in our work. Given that being thankful helps us to cultivate stronger relationships, it is not surprising then that gratitude can lead us to be productive and make better decisions not only in the workplace but about career direction as well.


When we express gratitude, we show others that we see them and we value our relationship with them. Being grateful encourages reciprocation which creates a strong social environment.


A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, found that people who are part of a team and whom thanked their coworkers before performing a high-stress task had less stress in the job, compared to teams who did not express gratitude.


Gratitude helps to achieve goals in the workplace quicker, with less stress and better performance. Several companies are starting to realise this and are implementing programs on team building and gratitude because grateful people bond better and are much more productive.


I really wish I could have known this information way before, when I was working in schools as a teacher, although I have always been grateful and say thank you to others, I think now that my relationship with other fellow teachers would have been much closer.


Gratitude and the Heart


The HeartMath Institute has studied the benefits of feeling appreciation or gratitude extensively and profoundly. As a HeartMath Certified Coach myself, I can say that this institute is my go-to source when talking about the science of the heart and emotions.


HeartMath’s research shows that when we experience heartfelt emotions such as appreciation or gratitude, love and compassion, the heart produces a smooth heart rhythm and this harmonious rhythm is known as Heart Coherence. According to the scientists of HeartMath, coherence enhances cardiovascular efficiency and balances the nervous system.


The key here is to really feel gratitude in your heart, embrace the state of being thankful, and enjoy it. This feeling will immediately smooth the beating of your heart and release the benefits I have described in this article.


Gratitude Practice


There are different ways to incorporate gratitude to your daily routine, I will show you three.

  • Take a few minutes every night for yourself, close your eyes, place your hands in your chest area and feel thankful for the experiences lived during the day.

  • Keep a Gratitude Journal. Journaling has been proven highly beneficial for our wellbeing. Write down the things you are grateful for, don’t forget to connect with your heart when writing.

  • Get into the habit of saying thank you not only to others, but to the universe, god, spirit, the One, whatever the name of your choice for the energy that links us all.

A grateful conclusion


As we can see, gratitude encompasses everything we do, every part of our days, everything we are. Gratitude has an effect in our happiness, wellbeing, relationships, work, heart, love life and much more. Gratitude is filling the empty spaces of us, is appreciating life, is inspiration. I invite you to embody being grateful into your daily habits, it will bring fabulous and unexpected blessings to your life. Gratitude is energy in loving action.


Thank you for reading!


Note: you are invited to check out this Gratitude Journal and get your copy here.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and visit my website for more info!


 

Veronica Sanchez De Darivas, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Veronica Sanchez De Darivas shares tools on how to manage stress, negative emotions and build resilience and on how to use high vibration words. Veronica is a Spanish grammar and literature teacher. During the last twelve years, she has dedicated herself to spirituality and is a Certified Instructor for the Cyclopea Method of Internal Activation of the Pineal Gland, a method created in South America 33 years ago by the spiritual leader Fresia Castro. Veronica is the first instructor in the world teaching this life changing method in English. Veronica is a Spiritual Life Coach and a HeartMath Certified Coach as well. Veronica is also an author. She has been writing for many years for online magazines and blogs in Spanish and English. Veronica is both a Chilean and an Australian citizen now living in the UK. Her mission is the expansion of consciousness.

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