The Immense Power of Gratitude
Gratitude is an emotion, just as sadness, happiness, and surprise are emotions. The emotion or feeling of gratitude is powerful. It comes upon us when we are thankful or grateful to someone who has treated us with kindness or when we acknowledge the positive aspects of our lives.
We feel gratitude deep within ourselves. It permeates our core often bringing with it sensations of contentment and well-being. Many people recite what they are grateful for before falling asleep. Though done as a conscious exercise to not forget the good things in their lives, the practice is also calming and reassuring and much more beneficial than counting sheep. As well, the comfort such reminders can bring stays with them after they wake up, keeping the things they have to be grateful for in the foreground as their day progresses.
The feeling gratitude ignites deep within us has the power to lift us up. Just like the emotions of love and happiness, gratitude can make us feel lighter and give us the sense that we are walking on air. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that gratitude creates its own sense of happiness and opens us up to feeling and being loved.
For all that gratitude lifts us up and increases our sense of joy, it also humbles us. The gratitude we feel toward someone who has helped us cannot exist without that act of kindness. Accepting help from another is admitting we need help. Understanding we can’t do everything ourselves is humbling, therefore gratitude is humbling.
Feeling gratitude and acknowledging it aren’t the same thing. We can only acknowledge gratitude by expressing it. The gratitude we feel toward the person who called us to see how we were doing when they knew we were experiencing emotional hardship, must be communicated to them. This can be done by just thanking them for checking in, by sending them a thank you note, or by taking them out to lunch or for coffee. They will be grateful in turn. Just as kindness begets kindness, so gratitude begets gratitude.
We must also acknowledge the gratitude we feel for what is good in our lives. Reciting our blessings before going to sleep is one way of doing this. Another, is to be aware of everything we have to be grateful for in our attitude to life on a daily basis. This awareness can be acknowledged in a positive attitude toward each decision we have to make and each hurdle we have to face. Acknowledging the gratitude for what we already have allows us to see everything in a more positive way.
Being positive; sharing kindnesses; acknowledging the good in our lives; opening ourselves up to being and feeling loved. All these actions are the amazing gifts of feeling gratitude. They are also the key ingredients in the recipe for a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. Gratitude is one of the emotions that makes us human. Let’s not forget that and embrace it every chance we get.