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Practicing Gratitude

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Studies in positive psychology have demonstrated that feeling grateful is closely associated with being happy. It is helpful to express gratitude in order to enhance one's mood, appreciate the good things in life, maintain health, cope with stress, and build lasting relationships.

It is through self-gratitude that you can build confidence and deal with any challenge in a manner that no one else can. It is important to remember that no one knows you better than you do and that no one benefits more from being reminded of your own strengths and abilities than you do. The encouragement helps motivate you to continue working on your business and to take on the next challenge.

Most of us live from day to day, occupied by our busy lives without noticing the positive aspects of the world around us. Is it even possible to capture positive events? How well do our children and leaders understand this concept? We have lost touch with the concept of happiness and gravitation over the past few years. Negativity is much easier to focus on because it is all around us and we are giving in.

There is a lack of clarity regarding what gratitude means to us. The following are four levels of it that can be identified and improved.

  1. The first level is Ingratitude.
 All of us have encountered people who are ungrateful. What comes to mind when you think about those individuals? Personally, I find them repulsive. Neither opportunities nor good relationships are readily available to them.

  2. A second level of gratitude is known as "Social Gratitude." This refers to saying "please" and "thank you"; it is one of the first things we teach our children. The absence of a "thank you" or a "please" usually catches our attention. However, we do not always pay attention to those who say it. There is no doubt that we want to associate with people who say "please" and "thank you", and who are candidly saying, "You Welcome". However, we may not recognize that a word such as "welcome" goes along with the word "thank you", and may reduce the respect by saying, no problem, no big deal. De nada.

  3. The third level is "Appreciative gratitude" in which we learn to appreciate the things around us. However, caution should be exercised here. Gratitude quotes have become very popular, so if you search for them on Google you will find millions of results in a fraction of a second. Consequently, it has become a platitude of gratitude. 
As you awake in the morning, you look at the blue sky, and you are grateful that it is a beautiful day, that you are healthy, that you have food, and that life is good for you. As you go out, you meet a friend for lunch, they tell you great things about their life, and you are grateful, but is it meaningful? 
Do you feel grateful for a specific reason? Is your gratitude a result of all the buzz on the internet that we should be grateful for? Do you believe that if you are grateful, then life will present you with many opportunities? Do you do it for your own benefit? Have you recently assisted someone? If you did, did they thank you? Did you assist again if you did not...? Perhaps you thought, "Nah, I am not going to do that anymore."

  4. With that in mind, we will be able to move to the next level of gratitude. The kind of gratitude you express is one in which you are willing to give unconditionally. This is due to the fact that you are a member of a family, community, or team and you take great pleasure in giving. This is who you are. As humans, we are not wired in that way, so it is a difficult space to be in. We are born without the ability to say "thank you" and instead we say "feed me.". In the beginning, we are only concerned with ourselves, and we must learn to love others as well. It is imperative that we learn to give without expecting anything in return. 

You can begin practicing by saying positive things before complaining. When someone asks how your day went, think of something you are grateful for. Even though it is not always easy, there are many things for which we should be grateful. We should be grateful if we have a day without physical pain. If we have a day when we are able to breathe fresh air. It would be difficult to imagine not having that opportunity.

Please consider practicing this with your family. Ask everyone to share at least one thing they are grateful for whenever you get together. Ask your family members if they would be willing to support you in this endeavor and thank them for their efforts if some of them have difficulty coming up with positive solutions. Please do not criticize them if they have nothing to say. Perhaps this is a time when you can step up and be a better mom or dad, brother or sister so that they will be grateful to have you in their lives.

By practicing positive thinking and gratitude in your household or with your employees, you will eventually notice a positive shift, because people will adapt to positivity. In this way, their subconscious will learn to search for positive experiences. 

When the road of life hands us lemons, we can choose to add a little sweet gratitude into our lives - and improve every aspect of our well-being in the process. As a bonus, gratitude is a powerful tool for discovering your truest, most authentic self.

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