The Magic of Appreciation: How to Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is the key to happiness in life, at work, and in relationships.
Studies show that depressed people who engaged in gratitude practice were 25% less depressed after a 12-week period. Interesting, right?
When we are down, we tend to ruminate and go over the same things over and over. Most of the time, it’s about our past and ourselves. We can’t stop being self-critical.
According to a study performed by Dr. James Pennebaker, depressed people used the “I” word at a 6.5% rate, that’s 4% higher than the average person. And those who suffer from a mental illness use “I” 11 times more than other people.
When we focus on the present and we’re grateful for what we have and who we are, we generate positive memories. These are the memories we can reflect on in the future that can help us feel better. Also, focusing on others and what we can do for other people can help us, too. We won’t be using so many “I” words.
So, do yourself a favor and focus on the present, what you have and what you’re doing. Once you are able to do that, you’ll be a happier person.
Make sure to appreciate the people around you as well. They’ll know it and they’ll reward you in kind.
In one study, twice as many people helped a second time after receiving a thank you email than when no thank you email was sent. The study showed people did it because they felt more socially valued when they’d been thanked.
Dr. Sara Algoe, a US psychologist, emphasized that “Feelings of gratitude and generosity are helpful in solidifying our relationships with people we care about and benefit to the one giving as well as the one on the receiving end.”
On the other hand, a Glassdoor study showed that more than 80 percent of employees say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work.
A feedback loop develops when you appreciate others. They begin to think about how they appreciate you.
It is easy to focus on what people are not and how they are different, but when you focus on people’s good qualities, you will be happier around them. They will be happier around you, too.
And what happens when you do the opposite?
Many will get defensive, angry, and lash out, causing you to do the same thing. Best to start off and focus on the right things. This is especially true in marriage.
So, appreciate people for what they are, what they bring to the table and for who they are and not who they are not. This way, you’ll be better off individually and together.
What can you tell about people who don’t say thank you?
Well, the inability to say thank you could be a sign of narcissism. When people feel entitled or full of themselves, they fail to appreciate the complement or the contribution of others. They think they deserve the special treatment or special praise because they are special.
No one wants to be with someone like that. So, make sure to show how thankful you are to those around you.
See Also: A Little Bit of Gratitude, Everyday!
How to get started?
Make it easy.
Try thinking or writing down three simple things you’re grateful for each day. Tony Robbins makes this a daily practice and he starts with something easy, like the wind on the face or the peacefulness of no wind.
You can show gratitude for anything or anyone in your life. It can be as simple as being alive and the opportunity to do things better the next time.
Make it a habit and do it every single day. Over time, your view of the world and life will dramatically change.
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Author: Brendan Dornan
Brendan Dornan is dedicated to self improvement, and founder of BuildaTeam - an e-coach that will help you build better relationships by flagging tones - such as anger and lack of confidence - and make suggestions on how to improve. If you're interested, please sign up for our email, receive more free articles, and learn about how to earn discounts on BuildaTeam and help bring the app to life through our kickstarter campaign.