Posted on November 14, 2013 by: Turiya's
If the only prayer you say in your life is “thank you,” that would suffice. ~Eckhart
There are many ways to say Thank You. Dankee, Shukran, do jeh, xie xie, dêkuji, tak, kiitos, Merci, danke, efharisto, Mahalo, toda, sukria, grazie, arigato, obrigado, gracias. However Gratitude is essentially the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one’s experience. It is the acknowledgment of the positive things that come our way that we did not actively work toward or ask for. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics defines gratitude as “the heart’s internal indicator on which the tally of gifts outweighs exchanges.” The Latin root of the word gratitude is grata or gratia—a given gift—and from this same root we get our word grace, which means a gift freely given that is unearned.
Gratitude is not just a virtue or spiritual practice it is a way of living. I call it the art of “giving Thanks.” We can begin practicing this art in our present moment wherever we find ourselves now. It is the art of seeing the forest through the trees, breaking it down to the simplest of things. Our breath that gives us life, our bodies that allow us to move or sunshine on a cold day. Whatever it may be for you, “The Art of Giving Thanks “for all that is right now. Sometimes we find it is so much easier to spend our energy and focus on what “Isn’t” rather than “What Is.” Gratitude is the opportunity for us to change our discord or unhappiness into subtle grace and peace. When we allow the spirit of gratitude to flow through us we give others permission to do the same.
In a world and society that is full of deadlines, taking care of kids, or pressures of being profitable in our expertise. Gratitude is the opportunity for one to center ourselves and ground in the grace that is in and all around us.
How Gratitude Can Change Your Life
Here are a few of the top research-based reasons that gratitude and improve your daily living. Through research by Emmons, happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky and other scientists practicing gratitude has proven to be one of the most reliable methods for increasing happiness and life satisfaction; it also boosts feelings of optimism, joy, pleasure, enthusiasm and other positive emotions. This also reduces anxiety and depression.
Gratitude is good for our bodies. Studies done by Emmons along with Michael McCullough suggest that gratitude strengthens the immune system. It lowers blood pressure, reduces symptoms of illness. It also encourages us to take better care of our health and exercise more.
Grateful people sleep better. Those who practice gratitude get more hours of sleep and spend less time awake before falling asleep.
Gratitude has the ability to help one to be more emotionally resilient. Research has shown that those practicing gratitude were able to recover from traumatic events, including war veterans with PTSD.
A simple way to begin a daily “Gratitude Practice” is starting a gratitude journal. This can be done in several ways but for those who are either just starting out or who find themselves strained for time, I suggest starting by writing your gratitude’s for 5 minutes for 30 days. This is a great place to start and for those who have children in their lives it’s a great way to bond. Simply have your child sit with you and allow them to make a gratitude list each day. It’s easy to teach a child to say Thank You but it can be more difficult to teach gratitude.
During this Holiday season of Thanksgiving we are given the opportunity to see the many blessings that befold in our daily living it’s different for each of us. Let us carry the spirit and energy of Gratitude and grace through out the year.