By: Wendy Bjork
You must have heard of gratitude plenty of times as it is not a new term for us. It is not even a new concept for us. It is just that we don’t use gratitude as often as we should to make our lives better.
So before we start discussing how good it is for us, let us jog our memory to what is gratitude and how to express gratitude.
What is gratitude?
Many people would refer to gratitude as saying ‘Thank You'. But it is more than just words. It is a feeling. It is to show appreciation for being on the receiving end of kindness. And that’s how you see, it is an expression.
So, how to express gratitude?
Gratitude is also an emotion like love, joy, and anger. People have different ways of expressing their emotions. Just like that, people express gratitude in different ways.
At times, people have different ways of expressing gratitude to their fellow human beings and the divine.
Some people like to be very vocal about being grateful. Whereas some like to express it through their virtues and actions. On the other hand, you may also find people who like to journal about it. Or even express it through meditations. Moreover, people would love to pay attention to every minutest detail of goodness because they are grateful.
There can be hundreds of ways to do it. However, the best way for you to express gratitude is the one that feels right for you.
What are the benefits of gratitude?
Regardless of the way we decide to express gratitude, it is always beneficial. Some of the benefits of gratitude are overall mental health, improved immune system, resilient mindset, strengthened concentration, happier thought process, improved sleep, better relationships, and more.
How to start expressing gratitude regularly?
In the beginning, you can start with journaling. Journaling will help you become aware of everything around you and in you. Just start with a few things in the beginning.
You can be thankful for being awake, having a roof over your head, being able to have proper meals, clean running water. Once you start, it is hard to stop. And quite naturally, you start to develop a sense of being grateful. And this way, expressing gratitude becomes a habit. And with time, you’d find this habit changing your life.
You may or may not have been hearing about how empowering gratitude is for us. It isn’t a new concept, just one we’ve maybe had on a shelf for a few decades.
It’s more than saying “Thank you”, it’s a feeling.
There are health benefits to being grateful for the things going right in our lives, even when things are going wrong. And I completely understand when things seem to be going wrong, are out of our control and we can’t seem to stop the difficult situations in life.
Various studies have shown how beneficial jotting down your thoughts of gratitude in a journal or a notebook can increase happiness, reduce inflammation and reduce stress.
When we hold on to these old emotions, they don’t serve us, and we need to let them go to move forward in pursuit of our hopes, dreams, goals, and whatever else we plan on achieving in our lifetime.
While you will have MS for a lifetime, it’s not an automatic life sentence. I’ve learned to accept help when needed, whether letting someone else do my grocery pickup or hiring mentors and coaches to learn how to give myself grace and love myself again. While the journey we are on is not changeable, the steps we take will make the difference.
We each have a unique Journey.
Sometimes we receive a wake-up call to look at life from a different angle and we realize how powerful we actually are.