What is gratitude?
How can it help you in your life?
How to learn and practice it?
You will find answers to these and other questions below.
What is gratitude?
According to APA Dictionary of Psychology gratitude is: ” a sense of thankfulness and happiness
in response to receiving a gift, either a tangible benefit (e.g., a present, favor) given by someone
or a fortunate happenstance (e.g., a beautiful day).”
Gratitude is associated with joy, contentment, happiness and pride.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
– Melody Beattie
What are the benefits of gratitude?
According to psychological research, experiencing gratitude leads to:
• positive emotions;
• health improvement;
• stronger relationships – research conducted in pairs showed that people who expressed
gratitude to each other each day, after some time not only had a more positive attitude towards
their partner, but also expressed their needs and fears more easily;
• greater involvement and effort at work when managers are thankful to employees;
• appreciation of what we have instead of focusing on what we lack. So instead of thinking about
a blue Porche and suffering from a lack of it, think about what you have;
• less stress;
• insomnia reduction;
• strengthening of the immune system;
• better results at work or school. Studies show that specific areas of the brain are involved in
expressing gratitude. Brain scans have shown that people expressing gratitude have long-term changes in the prefrontal cortex so that this increases the sensitivity of this part to feelings of
gratitude in later life.
As you can see, it’s worth being grateful.
What are some ways to be grateful?
1. Being with family and friends
Just being in the company of your loved ones means that you feel greater gratitude. So, meet
with them, share your problems, joys, experiences and gratitude.
2. Write a letter
Once a month write someone a letter in which you express your gratitude. You can express how
happy you are with this person and how you appreciate what they have done for you. Send this
letter or deliver it in person and you will see what happens. Don’t forget to write a letter to
yourself from time to time.
3. Thank someone
You don’t have time to write a letter? Thank someone in your thoughts for what this person has
done for you. Maybe it is even better – invite this person to dinner, lunch, breakfast, coffee, cake
– whatever – and thank them personally.
4. Create a log
Write in this diary every day what you are grateful for that day. You can also share it with a loved
one. However, do not write the same thing every day, e.g. I am grateful for my family. Writing
this every day for three weeks will give you nothing. Include some details of why you are grateful
– I am grateful that my husband made breakfast and brought it to bed. Be creative! Write
something different every day.
5. Make a list of good things
Once a week, sit down and write down some good things or events that happened to you. As you
write about them, think about what feelings they aroused in you and how it made you feel.
Religious people can express their gratitude every day during prayer.
If you meditate, try to focus on gratitude for simple things like sunlight, which warms your face.
8. Engage your imagination
Imagine what would happen if all these good events did not happen to you in your life. What would your life be like?
9. Practice saying thank you
If you experience something good from someone, like kindness or helpfulness- thank them.
Don’t hold back your feelings. Be specific, e.g. thank you very much for reading my blog carefully
and paying attention to the corrections that must be made. It allowed me to create a much more
Exercise for practicing gratitude:
The Naikan Reflection
“Naikan” means “look inside” and comes from Japan. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the
exercise. Anyone can do this exercise because it is not against any religion or belief. It involves
thinking about the answers to three questions about a specific person and a specific event.
1. What did this person give me? (Taking)
2. What did I give this person? (Giving)
3. What problem did I cause to this person? (Harm)
Reflecting on the answers to these questions allows you to feel more gratitude and appreciate
Thank you for reading this text, in which you learned what gratitude is, why it is worth
practicing and what are the ways to do it.
If you have any comments or you want to share with me what you are grateful for today – just