Gratitude can be a powerful thing, It has the power to make us happy. What is gratitude and can we choose to be grateful?
Gratitude can either be a conscious thought or an unconscious emotion, it’s the appreciation or thanks of something or someone.
Being grateful for things in our lives is a very productive and positive state of mind. Your emotions influence your thinking and your thinking influences your emotions.
Types of Gratitude
The first type is usually brief, it is expressed when somebody does a simple good gesture, for example somebody opening the door for you, or getting a birthday card. It may last longer depending on the situation, like surviving a life threatening situation.
The other type is more general and long term. It’s connected to how people think, a person with a generally positive attitude will usually feel more gratitude than someone who thinks more negatively.
Increasing our levels of gratitude
Being grateful often requires a certain amount of self awareness, also being aware of other people and what is going on around the world.
One way to feel more grateful is to simply focus on the good things that we have, rather than the things that we do not have.
It can be a conscious choice to be grateful, and it can mean the difference between happiness and sadness.
If you want to become more grateful or happier, simply start to appreciate the things that you currently have, this could be appreciation for having good health, having good friends, family, having a nice place to live or for having certain personal possessions. To help you start appreciating what you have you should change your focus from the people that have more than you, and focus on those that have a lot less.
The effects that this change of focus can have, can be dramatic. A simple change of perspective can have a great influence on our current state of mind.
Popular societal beliefs and attitudes play a role in our thinking, society indirectly tells us how to live and what is valued, we can get carried away trying to achieve more than others due to those societal beliefs. This is very true with the wealthy, they have everything that money can buy, yet they still want more. They may not be grateful for what they have, instead they focus on what they still don’t have. This is largely to do with why there is only a small connection between wealth and happiness.
So the next time you are feeling sad or down, focus on the good things that you have in life, you may be surprised by the influence that this change of thinking has on your mood.
Too much gratitude can be bad
Being overly grateful for everything can actually prevent us from achieving more. Gratitude can lead to feelings of contentment, and contentment can be the enemy of progression and greater life success.
Too much of anything can be a negative, even gratitude. Be grateful for what you have, but don’t let it kill your ambitions and greater goals.