Gratitude and Happiness in the Modern World
Gratitude and happiness go hand in hand. Emotional well being and happiness are something we all strive for. From time immemorial, eastern and western philosophers have theorized and wondered what makes man emotionally satisfied. In the modern world, contentment and satisfaction have almost become elusive with the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
While religion and philosophy has always been interested in this, it’s only recently that science has started to invest more heavily in understanding happiness. With more scientific research poured into emotional well-being and happiness, there has been increased correlation between the feeling of gratitude and its impact on health and emotional wellbeing.
It’s becoming clear about the role gratitude plays in happiness. It means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kindness that will stand behind the action.
The Effects Of Gratitude
After extensive research, it’s shown that people who practice regular gratitude are found to have
- Determination and energy
- Better quality of life
- Higher levels of alertness and enthusiasm
- Lower levels of depression and stress
- Fewer physical symptoms of tiredness and weariness
- Experience preventative benefits in warding of coronary artery disease
- Higher likelihood of helping someone with a personal problem
But can just practicing gratitude help us gain so much? A Harvard study sheds a bit more light on the same.
This may seem like mumbo jumbo, but it’s true. There is a complex relationship between thoughts, moods, brain chemistry, endocrine function, and functioning of other physiological systems in our bodies. The increased positive thoughts from being grateful can increase subjective sense of well-being and objective measures of physical health as well.
The actual neurological reasons are beyond the scope of this blog, but here we tell you about the benefits of being grateful with empirical proof.
How To Practice Gratitude
There are many simple ways to increase your expression of gratitude. For someone just starting out, you can do the following –
Maintain a gratitude journal
This is probably the most common practice of expressing gratitude. All this entails is recording 3-5 things that they experience in a day, or a week, that they’re grateful for. These entries could be brief and simple, and range from the mundane (“heard the song of a cuckoo”) to the exciting (“watched Metallica live”).
You could employ a real journal to log these entries, or use the plethora of apps online. I’ve had good success using Google Keep to log my entries, but have also heard some great reviews about Grateful, the iOS app.
Talking to loved ones
Additionally, you can discuss what you’re grateful for regularly with a close friend or significant other. You can each ask each other questions like “What was the highlight(s) of your day?” or “What made you smile today?”. This kind of discussion can also lead to better emotional and spiritual connection between you and the person discussing this.
Being gratitude conscious
When you’re too busy and unable to stick to the above practices, you can train yourself to consciously be grateful for what\’s happening in the moment. Mindful meditation can also help in this practice. By training your mind to be more active and mindful, you can help increase your own indulgence of the happiest moments you encounter.
Gratitude helps you be more empathetic to the problems of those around you, motivating you to provide a helping hand. This is what we believe in at Communiti, and hope gratitude encourages people to come together for the common good
At Communiti, we always love to hear your opinions. Let us know whether you feel that gratitude is really intrinsically related to happiness or not. For more updates do sign up here for our Beta program!