- Bonds us to other people.
Gratitude is a social emotion. As we navigate through our social world, social emotions give us feedback when we interact with others. Unlike embarrassment, shame and contempt, gratitude is a helpful social emotion that helps us bond with others.
When we feel thankful and appreciative of others, we feel closer to them. According to many scientific studies, strong social connections make us happier and healthier.
- Gratitude is the opposite of depressive rumination
Gratitude is deliberately choosing to focus on and feel thankful for the good in life. In contrast, rumination comes from seeing the world through grey colored glasses, characterized by playing those old tapes of bad luck and criticisms “hopelessness” over and over again.
Research shows that those who practice gratitude are more satisfied with life, have fewer symptoms of psychical illness and exercise more.
- Gratitude Is a Feel good, non-manipulative motivator
Simple heartfelt gratitude is a great workplace motivator. Bosses who express their appreciations to their employees discover their workers feel more motivated and they get better results.
- Gratitude increases our sense of self-worth.
When we feel grateful, it’s often towards a person who has done something nice for us. Doing something nice often means a little bit of self-sacrifice; someone has spent money, time or energy to be thoughtful to us.
Therefore, when we feel grateful toward a friend, it’s a signal that they have gone out of their way for us and by extensions, that we are worth going out of one’s way for. Gratitude occurs when you understand that you matter to someone else.
- Gratitude connects us to something bigger
When we acknowledge the good in life, we realize that often arises from something outside ourselves, perhaps from a higher power, another human or nature. Regardless, feeling grateful connects us to that which is larger than ourselves.
Article By: Catherine Ng’ang’a.