The power of gratitude

We all get uncomfortable with, fear and uncertainty. But good can emerge even from such situations and there is inherent value in working through discomfort, fear or uncertainty. And sometimes unpleasant emotions along the path have the ability to broaden our beliefs and perspectives. 

It is very natural to feel negative in situations that are less than ideal, but instead of feeding yourself negative thoughts for majority of time, you can shift your attitude to strengthen your resolve to get through them by practicing gratitude.

As Epictetus said,  “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has ”being grateful helps you gain different perspective on life and to cope with crisis situations. 

Living with gratitude..

Although we count our blessings for one day over the course of an entire year, but in no time, our life takes over and overshadows the things that we were grateful for some time ago. As a result, we no longer appreciate what we have and focus much of our time and energy pursuing things we currently don’t have. 

Gratitude is the state of being grateful and appreciative of benefits received. To say we feel grateful is not to say everything in our lives is necessarily great and also it is not just a reaction to getting what you want, but it is more to do with living each and everyday with gratitude and appreciation where you constantly look for the good even in unpleasant situations.

Being grateful is also not to say that we are not concerned about our future, or that it means never thinking about setting goals or making changes, rather it means finding balance which helps to make us feel more optimistic and being aware of everything whether you initially perceive it as being good or bad.

It is putting things in proper perspective and not to take for granted the many things you have and to be thankful for what you already have, while you perceive all that you want.

Practising gratitude improves your emotional state

One healthy and powerful strategy to rise above negative emotional states is to practice gratitude. Though gratitude is similar to appreciation, it however denotes your sense of happiness and thankfulness in response to certain experiences. Gratitude not only does makes us feel good, but it also positively benefits our emotional health and behaviours.

Thankfulness is considered as a character strength and as a state of being that can reduce your feelings of anxiety and depression. It helps you focus on the positive aspects of your life and changes the way you perceive your world. Whether we are thanking others, or receiving thanks in return, gratitude in any form can help stabilise our emotions.

Gratitude may mean different things to different people in different contexts. It has two components according to researchers who conceptualised it. Psychologists like Robert A. Emmons and McCullough suggest that gratitude as a two-step cognitive process. Recognising that one has obtained a positive outcome and the second step involves recognising that there is an external source for this positive outcome. 

In other words, it’s as an affirmation of goodness and we recognise that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves. So in a way, it is a character trait built upon good intentions.

It activates the reward centre of the brain thereby increasing our positive emotional states. Where your daily stresses lead to reduced processing of emotions and increase behavioural outbursts, grounding yourself in gratitude or to be with what is results in  more connected and responsive behaviours. 

Gratitude is the easiest and quickest way to boost your happiness quotient

Gratitude exchange can change the way we see the world and ourselves. When we experience gratitude, the brain releases hormones linked to social behaviour. It improves your ability to get along with others and builds and maintains happy relationships. Feeling grateful helps you stay centered to be with what you have and accept the present situation as it is, shifting your perspective to positive side of things.

By consciously practising gratitude, one can strengthen their intrinsic motivation and ultimately create a positive nature within. It affects our brain function on a chemical level and it’s practice promotes feelings of empathy and compassion for others.

Regardless of your current level of gratitude, you can always strengthen and cultivate it. There are many practices in which you can incorporate gratitude via small steps throughout the day. By merely pausing, being present and noticing, you can find sometime to be grateful for in any given moment. 

By consciously choosing to pay attention to all the positive things in life and showing appreciation of even the small things that you otherwise might have taken for granted, you can get into the habit of making gratitude as a daily ritual. 

The law of attraction states that like attracts like, when you’re grateful for what you already have, you will naturally attract more for which you can be grateful. Reflect on how better you can show your appreciation to others. Practice communicating it more often to people in your personal or professional life. 

Keep a daily journal of things that you really felt grateful throughout the day. The key is to remember a good event, experience, people you value and things you are grateful for. Try to see the silver lining in every situation. It is about accepting the bad for what it is and appreciating the strength you derived from difficult and stressful experiences. 

By affirming past and present strengths, successes and potential. You can acknowledge the positive in life. The more you practice, the more you can tune into positive things. Once you become oriented towards making it a habit, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures and things that you previously took for granted. 

Here are some quotes to inspire you to practice gratitude:

“Gratitude opens the door to the power; the wisdom, the creativity of the Universe.”

Deepak Chopra

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”


“Loving everything about yourself—even the ‘unacceptable’ -is an act of personal power. It is the beginning of healing.

Christiane Northup

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”


“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”

Tony Robbins

“The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.”

Robert Holden

“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect towards others.”

Dalai Lama

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